I was browsing through my music collection this week, searching for ideas for stuff to post. I have a bit of an inferiority complex when it comes to writing this, my longest running series (running since 2015, although some of the early posts weren’t Country records, just ‘nice’ tunes to hear of a Sunday morning): partly because I know that some of my readers are much more versed in Country music than I; that for others this series may well be their first introduction to the genre and I don’t want to give them a duff steer; and also that I may rely too heavily on some of the big hitters (Cash, Haggard, Kristofferson etc.), Country giants if you will.
Was there somebody I had omitted to mention completely? Or maybe someone that I hadn’t posted much of?
I alighted on Linda Ronstadt, who has only featured on these pages because of her nigh-on-perfect version of Different Drum, a song which, back in 2021 when the writer of it, Mike Nesmith (of Monkees fame) passed, I said “… if I absolutely had to name my top 5 favourite records, [Different Drum] would definitely, 100% nailed-on be in it.” I stand by that. (Ronstadt does also get a mention, of course, in a post about her collaboration with two other female icons of Country music, Dolly Parton and Emmylou Harris, to which I will probably return soon.)
Time to redress that, so I plucked her Greatest Hits album from the racks, and was surprised to note that a) the majority of songs on it are cover versions, b) that (and, given that I had been drawn to her records by her singing talents alone, I feel I can say this without fear of accusations of being a pervy old objectifying sexist: she’s an absolute fox) and c) that I’d never noticed either of these facts before.
The Greatest Hits album includes covers of songs by Dusty Springfield (albeit when she was still part of The Springfields), Eagles, The Everly Brothers and two by Buddy Holly (there may be more, but those were the ones I instantly recognised as covers).
Since the anniversary of Holly’s death was at the start of the month – something which I don’t recall being mentioned anywhere, which, given his undoubted influence, struck me as a little surprising – I decided to plump for one of his tunes (ok, it was written by music legend and unfortunate rhyming slang Paul Anka) which surely needs no further introduction, other than to say that Ronstadt covered it on her 1977 album The Southern Belle, which I don’t own, but have included the artwork here to pretend that I do:
Linda Ronstadt – It Doesn’t Matter Anymore
11 thoughts on “Sunday Morning Coming Down”
Not sure if you’ve been watching the brilliant post-apocalyptic drama series The Last Of Us, but episode 3 is named after, and heavily features, Ronstadt’s ‘Long, Long Time’. Apparently (according to Wiki), “in the hour after the episode’s broadcast, ‘Long, Long Time’ saw a 4,900 percent increase in streams on Spotify in the United States over the previous week; outlets compared it to the 2022 resurgence of Kate Bush’s ‘Running Up That Hill’ after its use in the fourth season of Stranger Things.”
Your observations about her voice and looks are spot on (sorry, policial correctness, but it’s true). And of course, her version of ‘Different Drum’ made it onto my 50 Songs…. list back here: https://isthis-thelife.blogspot.com/2014/03/20-songs-to-take-to-my-grave-5.html
I was intirgued by all the fuss online about how brilliant episode 3 of The Last of Us, so watched the first one – it didn’t exactly draw me in, so I need to give it another go.
Whilst we’re on recommends, do you follow SWC’s No Badger Required blog? Today’s is all about Newport, so literally right up your street!
Yeah, I wrote it…..
Ha! I must have missed the credit!
I would recommend you stick with The Last Of Us. I’m really not one for Zombie stuff, but this has a lot more going on. Each episode has a different director and a different story arc as a result. Music is quite central to it, especially Ep 3 with the Linda Ronstadt track. The whole thing is character-driven, which I love. Surprised by how much I’m enjoying it, to be honest. Didn’t realise until I mentioned it to my daughter that it is based on a computer game. She’s a fan of the game so is rightly sceptical about the TV adaptation (given how many poor game-to-TV attempts have been made) but the general consensus is that this one is pretty successful on that front.
I was aware of the game influence, but like you, as a non-gamer it made no difference to me, but good to hear a young ‘un who does thinks they’ve done a pretty good job. I have no such aversion to Zombie stuff (hello – Shaun of the Dead, one of the greatest British films ever, before we even get to the Zom-Rom-Com genre) and I really liked The Walking Dead for a goodly while. I will give TLOU a further go, if for no other reason than to get Ep 3 so I can see what the fuss is about.
I discovered Linda’s Different Drum right here. As I think you know, now firmly in my Top 5 too. She was cute as a button back then.
Where can I find The Last of Us?
It’s on Sky, I think Alyson. I’ve been watching it via an *ahem* unauthorised streaming service…
Thanks – I may have to wait until it appears elsewhere!
If you haven’t seen it you should give this a watch: