These days, we’re used to iconic music venues being rebranded for a big corporation, snack brand, or other unsavory development when they sell out to LiveNation or some other mega-owner. But in Tuscon, Arizona, where Linda Ronstadt was born, raised and launched her career, they’re paying tribute to the iconic singer who had such a big impact on country music by renaming the city’s music hall to her honor.
The Tucson Music Hall in downtown Tucson on Church Street will be renamed for Linda Ronstadt on May 7. Built in 1971, the 2,289-person venue is part of the larger convention center complex and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. “Linda Ronstadt is a beloved girl from Tucson. It’s time to honor her legacy and her ability to tell the story of our culture through music,” said Tucson Mayor Regina Romero.
Although Linda Ronstadt’s music has moved into pop and rock, few have paid their dues as much as Linda’s early career, including her years in her early band the Stone Ponies, her 1969 solo debut, Hand-sown… Home-grown1970s silk purse which included covers of “Lovesick Blues” and “Mental Revenge”, and her self-titled 1972 album where she recorded “Crazy Arms” and “I Fall To Pieces”.
Even when Linda Ronstadt achieved her pop rock success, she was always honest about the genre and approach to her music, then returned home in the groundbreaking Trio project with Dolly Parton and Emmylou Harris, which released an iconic album in 1987, and a follow-up in 1999. It is for these reasons that Linda Ronstadt would have been considered for the Country Music Hall of Fame in recent years.
But of course, no gender can imprison Linda Ronstadt. In fact, the Tucson Music Hall will be named after Linda Ronstadt during the International Mariachi Conference Espectacular on May 7. Alongside country, Ronstadt was raised on Mariachi music, then recorded her own Mariachi album and toured with a Mariachi band to pay homage to those roots.
Linda Ronstadt was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014, a year after it was revealed she had Parkinson’s disease and lost her legendary voice. She has since stopped performing in public, but has toured speaking engagements.
Linda Ronstadt will be in Tucson for the christening and unveiling of the new sign at Tucson Music Hall. “I am blessed to be a member of a large musical family that has been associated with the city of Tucson since the 1800s. My entire career has been informed and nurtured by the music we made while I was growing up here,” said Ronstadt.