Unprecedented, Except For All The Others Who Set The Precedent

In his review of Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice, Christian Toto lauds Ronstadt for doing an album of Spanish songs.

We also see (among the many highlights) Ronstadt’s rise to a stadium-filling superstar, her surprise stint performing “The Pirates of Penzance,” the creation of the “Trio” album (alongside always-engaging interview subjects Dolly Parton and Emmylou Harris) and, perhaps her most surprising career turn, the creation of the Spanish-language “Canciones de mi Padre” album.

A recurring theme appears – whenever someone tells Ronstadt she can’t do something, she does it anyway and finds success. Projects like a solo career, opera and an unprecedented album of traditional Spanish music by an English speaking pop rock star proved to be the opposite of career killers.

Unprecedented!

Except for:

  • Eydie Gorme with Trio Los Panchos, Amor (1964)
  • Eydie Gorme with Trio Los Panchos, More Amor (1965)
  • Eydie Gorme with Trio Los Panchos, Navidad Means Christmas (1966)
  • Eydie Gorme with Trio Los Panchos, Canta en Español (1970)
  • Eydie Gorme with Trio Los Panchos, Cuatro Vidas (1970)
  • Vikki Carr, Que Sea El (1971)
  • Vikki Carr, En Español (1972)
  • Vikki Carr, Hoy (1975)
  • Vikki Carr, Y El Amor (1980)
  • Vikki Carr, El Retrato Del Amor (1981)
  • Vikki Carr, A Todos (1984)
  • Lani Hall, Lani (1982)
  • Lani Hall, Lani Hall (1984)
  • Lani Hall, Es Fácil Amar (1985)
  • Doris Day, Latin for Lovers (1965)

That’s almost off the top of my head.

Although perhaps Vikki Carr, born Florencia Bisenta de Casillas-Martinez Cardona but who came to musical prominence with an Anglicized name, might be a stretch as she ended up being more of a Latin singer than an English one–her albums after 1980 are mostly in Spanish.

But, still, by the time Linda Ronstadt got around to it, English-speaking pop stars singing in Spanish (or Portaguese) was almost its own genre.

Although I cannot fault him for not being as knowledgeable about mid-century American songstresses as I am, I can fault him for the modern writing where everything is the best or the first and every play in every game breaks some sort of record.

7 thoughts on “Unprecedented, Except For All The Others Who Set The Precedent

  1. I’ve had a hard time taking Mr. Toto seriously ever since he praised “The Human Centipede” and the performance of its star Dieter Laser on his old site. I read HiT, but I tend to follow the other writers more.

  2. I can’t retract it; the fact that one of my posts has three comments on it puts me in the bigs. Or at least the biggers. Did I ever tell you, sonny, that I was once in the top five hundred blogs in the world by traffic?

    At any rate, I read HiT mostly to at least learn the names of films I have no intention of seeing and to keep abreast of entertainment news with minimal normalization of current hysteria. But, yeah, a little too much savoring of horror movies, but that’s par for the Internet.

  3. Yeah, even though this error was not his, the complaint about Toto still stands. He is inordinately impressed with horror, a genre only lightly blemished with creativity of any kind.

  4. Doesn’t that seem to be a problem with a lot of movie ‘critics’ or writers? If you watch enough movies, only the next step up on the horror registers an impression.

    Or maybe that’s society as a whole. Personally, I cannot understand the appeal of the Saw movies, but for a time, they were almost mainstream.

  5. I think it’s a larger problem for the movie reviewing crowd because they immerse themselves in the technical trivia of moviemaking enough that they tend to shrug a little more than is healthy at what is actually being shown onscreen. But yes, also as a society: “Sure, it’s sadistic bloodletting that treats people as disposable props. But it’s not real, it’s only a movie, no one really gets hurt. It’s just entertainment.”

    And that’s the problem.

  6. I forget what spurred on the conversation, but I explained to my boys the other morning that anti-heroes were very novel when we had a basic shared morality.

    But now that we don’t, and now that the anti-heroes who flout traditional morality are the norm, it reflects very poorly on us and quite likely is dangerous. Of course, we see that sort of thing in the news every day.

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