Linda Ronstadt: Feels Like Home – A Song for the Sonoran Borderlands

The legendary Linda Ronstadt has a new book out. Feels Like Home: A Song for the Sonoran Borderlands — a historical, musical, edible memoir that spans the story of five generations of Linda’s Mexican American German family, from the Sonoran desert in Mexico to the Ronstadt family hardware store in Tucson to the road that led Linda to LA and musical stardom. Intimate and epic, “this is little Linda, Mexican Linda, cowgirl Linda, desert Linda.”

The book, written in collaboration with New York Times writer Lawrence Downes, is a road trip through the Sonoran Borderlands, from Tucson to Banámichi, Mexico — the path Linda’s immigrant grandfather took at a time when the border was not a place of peril but of possibility.

We went to see Linda at home to ask her about the journey.

This story was produced by The Kitchen Sisters (Davia Nelson & Nikki Silva) and Evan Jacoby in collaboration with Brandi Howell and Nathan Dalton. Mixed by Jim McKee

Thanks to Lawrence Downes, John Boylan, Bill Steen, Janet Stark and The PRX Podcast Garage. And to the team at Heyday Books: Steve Wasserman, Kalie Caetano & Megan Beatie and to Putamayo Music who just released Feels Like Home: Songs From The Sonoran Borderlands, Linda Ronstadt’s Musical Odyssey.

Special thanks to Linda Ronstadt for opening her home and her vault to this story.

Music heard in the podcast:

What’s New – Linda Ronstadt with Nelson Riddle
Day of the Dead – Ted Savarese (our podcast theme music)
Old Paint – Linda Ronstadt
Willin’ – Linda Ronstadt live in concert, Atlanta,1977
El Sueño – Linda Ronstadt
I Never Will Marry – Linda Ronstadt with Dolly Parton
Poor Wandering One (from Pirates of Penzance) – Linda Ronstadt
Cancion Mixteca – Gilbert & Linda Ronstadt singing live at the Tucson Mariachi Festival
Flor Silvestre – Trio Calaveras (Linda’s favorite song)
Lo Siento Mi Vida – Linda Ronstadt (written by Linda, Kenny Edwards and her father, Gilbert Ronstadt)
Voy Caminando – Los Cenzontles
El Crucifico de Piedra – Linda Ronstadt live in concert
La Charreada – Linda Ronstadt, Live Performance, 1989
In 2022 Linda’s first record in Spanish, one of the highest selling non-English records of all time, Canciones de Mi Padre was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Recording Registry