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Linda Ronstadt's 'Canciones De Mi Padre' | For The Record
By 1987, Linda Ronstadt had conquered the '70s as the sweetheart of country rock and spent nearly two decades releasing solid albums, including GRAMMY Hall Of Fame Inductee Heart Like A Wheel, covering a wide swath of musical styles. But the GRAMMY-winning singer's musical roots were aching to be revisited. Ronstadt dove into the soundtrack of her childhood, revisiting the traditional Mexican mariachi music on Canciones De Mi Padre.
As a bona fide superstar, Ronstadt was able to enlist the help of three of the best mariachi bands around at the time: Mariachi Vargas, Mariachi Los Camperos and Mariachi Sol De Mexico. Together, and with help of GRAMMY winner Peter Asher, they tackled a collection of songs from Sonora, Mexico, that harkened back to Ronstadt's family traditions and formative musical memories.
Ronstadt stretched and flexed her vocal and interpretive abilities for Canciones De Mi Padre, paying homage to late Mexican singer Lola Beltran, whom she credited as a prominent influence on her own singing style.
Her reverence paid off. The album went double platinum, and at the 31st GRAMMY Awards Canciones De Mi Padre won Best Mexican-American Performance.
The project also ushered in a period in Ronstadt’s career that saw her release two additional Spanish-language albums over the following five years. Her 1991 pseudo-sequel, Mas Canciones, won Best Mexican-American Album at the 35th GRAMMY Awards.
More than 30 years after Canciones De Mi Padre, Ronstadt's lasting legacy as one of her generation’s greatest voices resonates that much wider due to the versatility, authenticity, and range she showed by revisiting the music that shaped her remarkable life and her outstanding career.