Preview: Music to Your Ears, Feb. 7: The Music of Linda Ronstadt

Linda Ronstadt is a renaissance woman of popular music. The Arizona-born interpretive singer is best known for her prominent role in the folk-rock and country-rock movements of the 1960s and ‘70s, but her artistry has always been too expansive to fit neatly into the confines of those scenes. Her chart success underscores Ronstadt’s genre-spanning commercial appeal: more than 20 Top 40 hits on the US pop chart, nearly 30 on the Adult contemporary chart, 10 on the country singles chart and 5 on the Latin singles chart.

But chart success and raw numbers only tell part of the story. Ronstadt has made compelling and critically-acclaimed forays into Cajun, jazz, rock, opera, roots, traditional pop and other styles. A 13-time Grammy winning artist (with at least 16 additional nominations), Ronstadt’s myriad accomplishments include her status as the most successful female singer of the 1970s.

A 2019 Kennedy Center Honoree, Ronstadt retired from music in 2011, but her importance endures. A Grammy-winning documentary, Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice premiered in 2019. She remains busy today: her memoir, Feels Like Home: A Song for the Sonoran Borderlands was published just over a year ago.

In 2017 – with longtime friend and musical collaborator Paula Hanke – Asheville-based singer Peggy Ratusz launched a popular concert series, Women Who Make Music History. The two vocalists – both of whom have musical careers in their own right – chose the life and music of Linda Ronstadt at the subject of the first entry in that series. Describing the concept in an interview at the time, Ratusz said, “We want the subtleties of our message in each song to be heard, because we tell the story of these women while we’re singing.”

Join host and music journalist Bill Kopp for an evening in discussion with Peggy Ratusz about Linda Ronstadt. We’ll listen to key tracks and encourage questions from the audience. The evening is the latest installment of the popular “Music to Your Ears” discussion series, hosted by Asheville Guitar Bar and sponsored by AshevilleFM.

Music to Your Ears is Bill Kopp’s monthly discussion series hosted by Asheville Guitar Bar and sponsored by AshevilleFM. On the first Wednesday of each month, music enthusiasts gather to discuss an important album, artist or musical movement. An interactive evening, Music to Your Ears isn’t a lecture; it’s a discussion led by experts and designed to enrich the listening experience. The character of each session is defined by the participants (that’s you). The conversation goes where the attendees take it: the person seated next to you might have attended Woodstock or seen The Beatles in concert. The insights of everyone in the room are what make each and every Music to Your Ears a unique experience.

With over 500 bylines in Western North Carolina publications (Mountain Xpress, Bold Life, WNC Magazine and more), Asheville-based author and music journalist is an acknowledged expert on popular music. Author of two books – Reinventing Pink Floyd: From Syd Barrett to The Dark Side of the Moon and Disturbing the Peace: 415 Records and the Rise of New Wave – Bill Kopp writes for publications across the country and abroad. A contributing editor at Goldmine Magazine and contributing writer at, he has authored more than 30 album liner note essays and conducted more than 1000 interviews. He regularly hosts lecture/discussions on artists and albums of historical importance, and is a frequent guest on music-focused radio programs and podcasts.

Peggy Ratusz has been a professional for decades; her career stretches back to her late ‘70s days in a Tucson-based folk-rock trio. More recently, her work in blues, pop, soul and other styles has brought success and critical praise: with collaborator Aaron Price, Peggy has been a semi-finalist in the Blues Foundation’s International Blues Challenge no less than three times: in 2008, 2010 and 2016. Her advocacy for women in music has been recognized by a Mountain Xpress readers’ poll and exemplified by her successful Women Who Make Music History concert series. And of course she can be seen and heard regularly in Asheville’s finest live music outlets.

WHAT: Music to Your Ears Discussion Series
WHO: Discussion led by music journalist/author Bill Kopp with special guest Peggy Ratusz
WHERE: Asheville Guitar Bar, 122 Riverside Dr., Suite D, Asheville
WHEN: WednesdayFeb. 7 @ 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. (doors open 6:30) $10 at the door / SEATING IS LIMITED