Linda Ronstadt: “Grace and Dignity”

The Diane Rehm Show: Singer Linda Ronstadt on Her Life in Music

DIANE REHM: Thanks for joining us. I’m Diane Rehm. Legendary singer Linda Ronstadt has sold more than 100 million records in her 40-year career. She’s best known for chart-topping hits like “You’re No Good,” “Blue Bayou,” and “When Will I Be Loved?” Ronstadt was the first female artist in popular music history to release four consecutive platinum albums. But last year, a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease forced her to stop singing. She’s in Washington D.C. this week, where yesterday she received the National Medal of Arts from President Obama.

…. Tell us about that ceremony yesterday and how you felt.

LINDA RONSTADT: Well, I think most artists always will say, I don’t know if you agree with this or not, but I felt like a fraud. You know? I felt surely they’d made a mistake and they would be telling me any minute that, you know, I needed to go home. I was on the wrong list.

….. But otherwise I was delighted. And I am a great fan of President Obama and think he has been a fine president. And I’m very pleased that we’ve got to have someone of his grace and his dignity, which is rare in American culture these days.

REHM: Do you think, in part, it comes from his Hawaiian upbringing?

RONSTADT: Well, he — there’s a beautiful, beautiful ancient culture in the Hawaiian Islands and an old tradition of a lot of diversity. You know, there are Japanese, Chinese, Hawaiian, Portuguese, Okinawan, and they all had to get along. And so there’s a high level of lovely, beautiful manners, you know? People treat each other with respect and courtesy in the islands that you don’t find in the mainland. And I think — and there’s a real gentleness, you know?

Of course people stand up for themselves too. You don’t want to get into a fight with a Hawaiian. Because if you want to push him, he’s a tough guy, you know? But he’ll give you an out before. And I think that he reflects a lot of that. Maybe his background in the Hawaiian Islands…

REHM: He was very warm.

RONSTADT: He was very genuine and he was very present. And I liked that. He was very aware of what was going on around him. We’ve had so many people that have just been, you know, so egotistical or so completely full of themselves they can’t tell what’s going on around them. And I don’t think that’s the case with him. And his wife Mrs. Obama couldn’t be more impressive. My god, she’s beautiful. She’s very beautiful in the photographs…

REHM: Absolutely gorgeous.

RONSTADT: …but she’s 50 times as pretty.

REHM: Totally gorgeous.

RONSTADT: And little looks going back and forth between them, you know? You can tell that that’s a strong relationship. I was very impressed. I expected to be impressed and I was very much more impressed…

 Full transcript here

122 Responses to “Linda Ronstadt: “Grace and Dignity””

  1. 1 jacquelineoboomer
    July 30, 2014 at 1:44 pm

  2. 8 JER
    July 30, 2014 at 1:44 pm

  3. 10 JER
    July 30, 2014 at 1:52 pm

  4. 11 Nerdy Wonka
    July 30, 2014 at 1:53 pm


    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. We are freaking blessed to have a President Barack Obama in this country and in the world.

    Thanks so much, Chips. What a beautiful post.

  5. July 30, 2014 at 1:57 pm

    Beautiful comments from Linda Ronstadt. She articulates what we all have seen.

  6. 14 dotster3
    July 30, 2014 at 2:02 pm

    Beautiful comments by Linda Ronstadt. My dad, like President Obama, also had a crush on her, “back in the day”. A musical crush—-and he thought she was pretty cute.

  7. 17 JER
    July 30, 2014 at 2:08 pm

  8. 19 Gazelle
    July 30, 2014 at 2:12 pm

    “He was very genuine and he was very present. And I liked that. He was very aware of what was going on around him. We’ve had so many people that have just been, you know, so egotistical or so completely full of themselves they can’t tell what’s going on around them. And I don’t think that’s the case with him. ….”

    Yep, eat that GOP & your MSM shills! We-The-People know this to be so.

  9. 20 JER
    July 30, 2014 at 2:14 pm

    LIVE NOW: Awaiting President Obama’s departure from Kansas City, MO – http://livewire.kmbc.com/Event/Live_updates_on_President_Barack_Obamas_visit_to_Kansas_City

    • 21 Linda
      July 30, 2014 at 2:31 pm

      OMB… Knoller posted a picture of PBO’s plate of food on that site.

      • 22 anniebella
        July 30, 2014 at 2:38 pm

        This is getting old. I guess Knoller want the media world to know what POTUS is eating, then the right wing haters can try to bring FLOTUS in it.

    • 23 Gazelle
      July 30, 2014 at 2:39 pm

      Thanks, JER! Looked like 2 Beasts stayed parked on the tarmac even after AF1 took off. I always thought they put them on a transport plane right away.

  10. 24 Linda
    July 30, 2014 at 2:16 pm

    This Linda Ronstadt song was played at the graveside of my nephew…….the words are amazing

  11. July 30, 2014 at 2:17 pm

    Such an apt description of our President, “grace and dignity.”

  12. 33 anniebella
    July 30, 2014 at 2:17 pm

    Let me go listen to POTUS speech and then try to fine FLOTUS speech this morning. I know POTUS handle hecklers just fine, but the fact that people think that is the only way to get their point across pisses me off.

    • 34 HZ
      July 30, 2014 at 3:01 pm

      Anniebella, we have your thoughts in a good space so just treat yourself to a nice cool glass of your favorite tea or coffee of just a nice glass of water in one of your beautiful glasses and make a toast to POB’s grace, wisdom, and peaceful mind.

      You are so supportive, so just remember that we will get through all of this. Like you do, call the facts of the goodness of POB and fill your space up with so much of what you know is so good and decent about PBO and his team. Remember, we need you for our work leading up to Nov. And I know it is very difficult at times to hear and see all of this “stuff”, but I know together we will keep his back.

      Thank you for all that you do, anniebella. His speech will uplift you. He will make it with all of our love and support. {{{{{{{{Love you}}}}}}}}HZ

  13. 35 Gazelle
    July 30, 2014 at 2:18 pm

    Photos in Kansas City:

    Another that cracked me up — the young girls precious expressions. There’s a local news video at end of article:

    • 36 GGail
      July 30, 2014 at 4:09 pm

      I noticed in this in the Ken Walsh article…”As I point out in my book “Prisoners of the White House: The Isolation of America’s Presidents and the Crisis of Leadership” Obama, like other presidents, is trying to avoid being out of touch. It’s a common problem in the White House. To keep in contact, he meets with everyday people as he did in Kansas City, reads 10 citizen letters a day provided by his staff, keeps track of opinion polls, takes an interest in popular culture and social media, hosts discussions at the White House with historians, journalists and others, talks to friends around the country, and reads news coverage in the media and books.

      Presidents “feel trapped,” local Democratic political consultant Martin Hamburger told the Kansas City Star Tuesday, praising outreach events that put presidents in contact with everyday people. “It probably does give them perspective,” Hamburger said.”

  14. 37 JER
    July 30, 2014 at 2:19 pm

    • 38 jackiegrumbacher
      July 30, 2014 at 3:40 pm

      This is true of a lot of us, Jer. I’m lost in a quilting shop, although I admire the talent that creates the beautiful final pieces.

  15. 39 JER
    July 30, 2014 at 2:20 pm

  16. 40 HZ
    July 30, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    Thank you, Chips for this beautiful post. I was just thinking as I await my’ sweet oil’ call for today from my loving sibling: we are so very blessed to be living and participating in this great president’s presidency. Just a beautiful joy!!!! And thank you Chips for taking on this beautiful and very hard work of keeping this space open to us. You are one of my most precious gems, and the jewels are few in this area. I love you and thank you so much.HZ

  17. 41 dotster3
    July 30, 2014 at 2:22 pm

    I read in the KC Star that the woman in the balcony yelled, “Jesus is the God of Israel. He is fully God”——ay yi yi—–and the perfect PBO response of “I believe in God. Thanks for the prayer.”

    • July 30, 2014 at 2:26 pm

      I see she’s still stuck in the days of the Council of Nicaea.

    • 43 Gazelle
      July 30, 2014 at 2:27 pm

      Thanks, Dotser, I was wondering what loony-ness the heckler yelled. That’s a doozy! 🙂

    • 44 57andfemale
      July 30, 2014 at 2:27 pm

      So where does that leave Jesus’ Dad? Has he been replaced by Jesus?

      I’m not being facetious. I’m Jewish so I’m curious as to Christian beliefs concerning the placement of the ‘first’ God and then the Son.

      • July 30, 2014 at 2:39 pm

        If you want a great read about how the conception of Jesus evolved from that of a Jewish apocalyptic prophet to the Son of God, read Bart D. Ehrman’s new book, “How Jesus Became God.” I finished it a couple of weeks ago.

        • 46 57andfemale
          July 30, 2014 at 2:49 pm

          I have the book my To Read list. I was being a tad facetious, because this issue has always been a part of my life, as I tried to figure out why Jews were hated. I didn’t experience the level of anti-Semitism that my parents did, or even my brother who was 15 years older than I. But it was there. And you don’t grow up in post- WW II America as a Jew without the spectre of the Holocaust hanging over you. I’ve done a fair amount of reading of religious history – it fascinates me.

          I guess what caught my attention was the heckler’s statement that Jesus is the God of Israel. I think of the ‘God of Israel’ as the Old Testament God. Just wondered.

          • July 30, 2014 at 3:03 pm

            Well, if you go by more hardline elements, Jesus is God, and Jesus was sent to the Jews, so in that view he’s the “God of Israel”. Of course, Jews “rejected” this God, hence the 2000 years of pogroms and annihilations.

            I sometimes feel like learning me some New Testament Greek, biblical Hebrew, and starting a 3rd career as a biblical scholar.

            • 48 57andfemale
              July 30, 2014 at 3:17 pm

              Wouldn’t that be a joy – to be a biblical scholar. In your spare time……

              I’m still curious as to where the Bible-thumpers place the Old Testament God. Certainly it is His hard line judgments that the RW churches follow, but if Jesus ‘replaces’ Him, how does that work?

              I question of Sarah Palin in Bible study class!

            • July 31, 2014 at 1:09 am

              I am currently reading “The New Oxford Annotated Bible,” which is definitely eye-opening. Started last week and I’ve so far finished reading Genesis and Exodus. Before I was “confirmed” to receive “Holly Communion” I had to attend catechism schools. I also took a course in World Religions when I was in courage and read many excerpts from the Bible. But now I am determined to read the entire Bible because I want to understand where fundamentalists, both Jewish and Christians, are coming from.

      • 50 MightyPamela
        July 30, 2014 at 5:16 pm

        Amen, 57. I have a younger brother who is a pastor of his own church, and I often hear him teaching that Jesus created the entire universe and everything in it. (that’s kind of new for me, oh well)

        • 51 57andfemale
          July 30, 2014 at 5:23 pm

          Hey, I’m Jewish so what do I know? Except that in my denomination we discussed everything, were encouraged to question everything. It was about a ‘dialogue’. I sometimes think I know more about Jesus than the Dominionist usurpers. I was taught Christ’s message was to be incorporated, but as one in a long line of Jewish prophets. I won’t get into the mystical and historical meanings of the Jewish Messiah. But these were wonderful, intellectual discussions upon which I was raised.

    • 52 jackiegrumbacher
      July 30, 2014 at 3:45 pm

      Um, Dotster, what exactly was her point, or, was she just expressing random bigotry against Palestinian Muslims. The mind boggles at the lunatic connections in some people’s minds. Or maybe she thinks that Jesus is cheering on the massive killing of infants and children. After all, what did Jesus ever say that made anyone think he cared about “children”? All the troublesome bits were probably cut out of her Bible.

  18. July 30, 2014 at 2:23 pm

    Her description of the culture of Hawaii is touching. Would that the mainland U.S. could learn something from what it means to live in a diverse culture based on mutual respect and dignity.

    • July 30, 2014 at 2:41 pm

      I should like to add that President Obama had an unusually gifted mother who had a heart filled with compassionate love for the entire world. Doubtless that compassionate heart and the values she imparted validated and empowered his already sensitive and compassionate nature. I grew up with a single mother like that. Despite the fact that we lived in small town America with more than its share of racism and injustice, I was raised differently. Yet I grew up with a devotion to social justice, empathy for the poor, ( we were poor), and a respect for the dignity of all people, gay, straight, black, brown. (My mother, a white woman, took me to my first meeting of the NAACP when I was in high school in the mid-sixties.) This devotion was due in large part to my mother, born to a low income immigrant family, a single mother who raised three children on waitress wages. Each of us went on to have a good life, college educated, and to live out the values she taught. Our President’s greater legacy, even greater than the great public policy changes he has brought, is a vision of the world that is fundamentally loving and compassionate, devoted to the understanding that we, all peoples across this planet, are in this journey of life together, and we are here to help one another.

      • 55 Gazelle
        July 30, 2014 at 2:49 pm

        Lovely, Bill!

        • 56 carolyn
          July 30, 2014 at 3:26 pm

          Bill, your last sentence, “Our president’s greater legacy, even greater than the great public policy changes he has brought, is a vision of the world that is fundamentally loving and compassionate, devoted to the understanding that we, all peoples across this planet, are in this journey of life together, and we are here to help one another,” is the statement and belief we all need to act on. I agree wholeheartedly with this, because this a matter of change of the heart, and “Out of the heart, the mouth speaks.”

          Thank you for this wonderful summation.

      • 57 57andfemale
        July 30, 2014 at 3:26 pm

        Thank you for sharing this with us, Bill R.

      • 58 yardarm756
        July 30, 2014 at 3:43 pm


      • July 30, 2014 at 3:45 pm

        thank you for sharing the stories of you family….thank you…..it is profound….

      • July 30, 2014 at 5:20 pm

        Excellent commentary, Bill R, and if I may add not only PBO’s mother, and your own mother, but so many of us single moms have a great deal of courage, just to get through the wonderful and challenging gift of raising a child alone. We learn about community, and building that village of those willing to love and nurture, both our child, and us! Separation is the greatest sin. When we separate ourselves from others, we separate ourselves from God. There is only One Soul, and we are all It!

  19. 61 Nena20409
    July 30, 2014 at 2:25 pm

    GA TOD.

    Fantastic Coverage of POTUS in KC.

  20. 62 JER
    July 30, 2014 at 2:28 pm

  21. July 30, 2014 at 2:31 pm

    • 67 Linda
      July 30, 2014 at 2:36 pm

      Um…. isn’t Nancy Pelosi the ” Top House Democrat “?

      CNN is pathetic.

    • 70 nospin
      July 30, 2014 at 2:43 pm

      hahahahaha go for it…. nutjobs.

      • 71 nospin
        July 30, 2014 at 2:44 pm

        oh wait. I thought it read GOP going to run on impeachment. I am sure most of them will. They just hope no one records it.

      • 72 nospin
        July 30, 2014 at 2:45 pm

        “Motivating the base

        Israel says talk of impeachment and lawsuit against Obama is motivating the Democratic party’s base.

        “The phone calls, the emails, people signing up, wanting volunteer on campaigns, has surged literally over the past several weeks. Now it always surges as you get closer to an election, but I’m telling you the August numbers are what the Octobers numbers should be,” Israel said.

        And he added that “their accusations of presidential overreach have become a Republican overreach and that is motivating swing voters and persuadable voters.”

  22. 73 anniebella
    July 30, 2014 at 2:34 pm

    I read were someone said something stupid about it’s the Democrats who are talking about impeachment. I said to myself what the heck is this person talking about, Republicans has been talking about impeaching this President for years.

  23. 74 JER
    July 30, 2014 at 2:38 pm

  24. 76 Nena20409
    July 30, 2014 at 2:42 pm

    Crop Circles fascinates me.

  25. 81 itgurl_29
    July 30, 2014 at 2:43 pm

    Just another reason to love Linda Ronstadt.

  26. 82 dotster3
    July 30, 2014 at 2:45 pm


  27. 94 Nena20409
    July 30, 2014 at 2:47 pm

    The Lies and the Lying Liars that tell the them.

  28. 95 Nena20409
    July 30, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    Al Jazeera America has seen a 30% increase in their viewership. While MSNBC is lagging behind? Hmm?

    • 96 Jeff
      July 30, 2014 at 3:42 pm

      why is MSNBC and the rest of the media pro-Israel circle so slow?

      • 97 Nena20409
        July 30, 2014 at 4:06 pm

        Very simple, those who Control the Media, Control the News. No Nationally Independent Objective News Media is left……OK….but to say that 5-6 Corporations control what 318.9M consume as News.

        Warren Buffett is buying some News Papers…..trying to keep them going as a check, locally. Fine. But he is not buying them in a larger scale nor is he or Soros interested in building a Nationally News Media Outlet….that is Independent and with it’s Own Goal……Just to inform the public. Liberals are still in denial that the News Media is trying to be fair.

    • 98 nospin
      July 30, 2014 at 3:43 pm

      read that thanks. Also saw a link from a 16 year old girl who was tweeting from Gaza. She was afraid she wouldn’t live to see the next day.

  29. 101 Nena20409
    July 30, 2014 at 3:08 pm

    And the Courts will? Sooner or later, they will show their Obvious Bias.

    • 102 nospin
      July 30, 2014 at 3:42 pm

      I saw that earlier and cracked up laughing.

    • 103 Jeff
      July 30, 2014 at 3:43 pm

      Satan sounds like the good guy.

    • 104 nospin
      July 30, 2014 at 3:51 pm

      “The Satanic Temple’s attorney, told ABC. “It’s a statement from the patient to the physician and to the world at large that ‘here’s my position, here’s what i believe’. actually going to court and picking the test case actually depends on the facts. At this stage, we don’t know who that will be.”

      The Satanic Temple remains a mystery to many but their spokesman Lucien Greaves told ABC News that they have gained 10,000 members in the past year and a half. They gained notoriety earlier this year when they pushed for a 7-foot Satanic statue to be approved to stand alongside a 10 Commandments monument at the Oklahoma State Capital. The statue is under construction.

      When it comes to fighting any lawsuits that The Satanic Temple brings forward regarding informed consent laws, it appears that the devil is truly in the details.

      “It really puts the conservative Christians and the anti-contraceptive Catholics in a bind: They’re going to have to argue that a religious group should lose a RFRA claim that is on par with the Hobby Lobby claim,” Hamilton said.

      “The courts cant pick and choose between beliefs.”

      hah! this is going to be interesting.

  30. 105 anniebella
    July 30, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    Just finish listening to POTUS speech in KC this morning, I love the guy who introduce POTUS. He said POTUS can tear up some ribs. 🙂

  31. 106 donna dem 4 obama
    July 30, 2014 at 3:25 pm

    Linda Ronstadt’s comments about the President are so beautiful. Here impression of FLOTUS mirrors mine when I was blessed to be 10 feet from FLOTUS when she gave a Let’s Move speech here in DC in 2013. I was floored by her beauty. When people make the statement that pictures don’t do a person justice they were talking about our FLOTUS. She is a stunningly beautiful woman in person both inside and out. Our President is blessed in many ways!!!

    • July 30, 2014 at 3:45 pm

      Hi Donna. I so agree with you about FLOTUS. I was blessed to introduce her when she came to Indy in 2012 for a fundraiser. She is just drop dead gorgeous. She had on a knit dress that showed her flawless figure and her skin is just luminous. And like you’ve so eloquently said, she is just the nicest and most gracious lady. POTUS and FLOTUS are just a powerhouse of intelligence, grace and goodness.

      • 108 donna dem 4 obama
        July 30, 2014 at 4:04 pm

        Wow what a wonderful honor for you LP. Isn’t she amazing? She’s a knock out beauty and as sincere and graceful as anyone that you would ever encounter. I guess that’s why the digs on her by the right hurt me the most. She is the epitome of First Lady. There will never be another like her in my book!

      • July 30, 2014 at 5:20 pm

        Fully agree with you both. Her skin and her eyes just glow. She is a very tall, stunning woman in great shape. And then there’s the sweeping grace and extraordinary intelligence and PASSION!! They are perfectly suited for one another.

    • July 30, 2014 at 4:10 pm

      Donna, my sentiments exactly.
      I posted last night in response to the woman who said that,” Michelle was lucky” because POB was so handsome.
      Michelle’s beauty is inside/outside and natural.
      As handsome as he is Michelle accentuates him to a higher level.

      Linda Ronstadt also commented on the back and forth way they look at each other.
      When I notice that in a couple it makes me smile and pray their relationship grows stronger.
      Every time I see a simple touch, holding hands and allowing the other to finish their thought or sentence unless asked, tugs at my heart.
      It keeps me smiling.
      I sure needed this speech today and Linda Ronstadt’s interview.
      What a difference a day makes…….it’s called hope!

  32. July 30, 2014 at 3:29 pm

    When even Luke Fucking Russert is tweeting something like this…

    • 112 Jeff
      July 30, 2014 at 3:44 pm

      more terrorist actions by the Israeli militants.

    • 113 jackiegrumbacher
      July 30, 2014 at 3:53 pm

      There are no words left for these actions, LL. This is the kind of blatant genocide that should have every civilized person and society up in arms against Israel.

  33. July 30, 2014 at 3:31 pm

  34. 122 clarice
    July 30, 2014 at 7:31 pm

    Love Linda Ronstadt forever. Beautiful voice, great music and a perceptive warm heart. Grace and dignity indeed. “Don’t know much” but I know I love them (her and the President) both

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