Saturday, August 24, 2013

Saturday afternoon tunes: Gee, but it's nice to see you again

Sad news yesterday:
Parkinson's Disease has left Linda Ronstadt unable to sing.

The 67-year-old singer, who will publish her memoir, Simple Dreams, next month, revealed her condition Friday in an interview with AARP.

The singer of such '70s and '80s hits as You're No Good, Hurt So Bad and Don't Know Much now uses poles to assist her when walking on uneven ground and travels with a wheelchair. She says she was diagnosed with the neurological disorder eight months ago, though she began experiencing symptoms, including hand tremors and trouble controlling the muscles that let her sing, several years ago.
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The tune was originally a trumpet-featuring instrumental, titled “I'm Free,” composed by Bob Haggart in 1938. The next year, lyricist Johnny Burke was brought in, and the melody became the bittersweet standard “What's New?”. Conductor and arranger Nelson Riddle, who wrote the arrangements for all three of Ronstadt's 1980s big-band albums, collaborated with Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald, among many others.

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