Happy Birthday to Linda Ronstadt

Happy Birthday to the wonderfully talented Linda Ronstadt, whose stellar singing voice has ranged from rock to country to mariachi to operetta.  Ronstadt was born on July 15, 1946, in Tucson, Arizona, where her father, a hardware store manager, loved to play and sing Mexican music.  Ronstadt was raised during a decidedly anti-Hispanic heritage era in Arizona, an attitude which has resurfaced under the state’s current political leadership.  As she noted in an interview with Parade Magazine, “When we were little, we spoke Spanish at home, but the schools pounded it out of us pretty early.  There was an antibilingual attitude then.”  She started with the briefly successful group “The Stone Poneys” then soloed in the 1970’s with hits that baby-boomers will remember:  “When Will I Be Loved?”, “Desperado”, “You’re No Good”, and “Blue Bayou”.  At this phase in her life, Rondstadt has returned to her Latino roots, and recorded an album of her father’s favorite mariachi songs.

Happy Birthday to Cheech Marin

Happy Birthday to Cheech Marin, a third-generation, native English speaker born in LA, California.   The talented actor in his fabulous counterculture comedic roles has entertained norteamericanos for decades.   A straight “A” student who worked his way through college as a dishwasher and janitor, Cheech graduated from California State University.  He met his comedic partner, Chong, in Canada, while on hiatus from the Vietnam War.  His comedic social satire, “Born in East LA”, was a successful Hollywood film.  He entered the big budget film world of Hollywood with his role in “The Tin Cup” and he has played a voice over character in “The Lion King”.   (Image from www.CheechandChong.com)