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September 30, 2013

TT: The Linda Ronstadt challenge

Christopher Lydon recently interviewed Linda Ronstadt, extracting from her a list of thirteen "singers and songs--the personal favorites, the masterpieces, the ones we called 'pop' and 'love songs' that may last as long as Schubert and Brahms." He challenged me on Facebook to come up with a similar list of my own. Here it is, more or less.

This is not, however, a list of my favorite songs, or my favorite singers (though some of both made the list). It's nothing more--or less--than a list of fifteen performances that have particular personal meaning for me. It ranges much more widely than I expected when I first started drawing it up, encompassing everything from a down-home Delta blues to a pair of songs written in languages that I don't speak:

Black Crow (Joni Mitchell, performed by Diana Krall)

lucinda.jpgCar Wheels on a Gravel Road (written and performed by Lucinda Williams)

Century's End (written and performed by Donald Fagen)

Crazy Arms (Ralph Mooney-Charles Seals, performed by Ray Price)

Devil Got My Woman (written and performed by Skip James)

Dilate (written and performed by Ani DiFranco)

Doce de Coco (Jacob do Bandolim, performed by Luciana Souza)

I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry (written and performed by Hank Williams)

Lonely Town (Leonard Bernstein-Betty Comden-Adolph Green, performed by Frank Sinatra)

Mama, You Been on My Mind (Bob Dylan, performed by Judy Collins)

Mortonmicrophone.jpgMamie's Blues (Mamie Desdunes, performed by Jelly Roll Morton)

La Mer (written and performed by Charles Trenet)

Skylark (Hoagy Carmichael-Johnny Mercer, performed by Nancy LaMott)

The Weight (Robbie Robertson, performed by The Band)

Wichita Lineman (Jimmy Webb, performed by Glen Campbell)

Were I to draw up a similar list next week, it might well be entirely different. But I doubt it.

Posted September 30, 2013 12:00 AM

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