Source: Sounding Board Newsletter Vol 26 - January 2009
00-42 Linda Ronstadt
C. F. Martin Honors A Trailblazer With Enhanced 00 12-fret Model
Linda Ronstadt. Her voice captured our imagination more than 40 years ago and continues to enthrall. Equally fascinating is her willingness to take chances and show the way for others. She was one of the first women to become a rock star, among the first artists to showcase a new generation of songwriters, the first singer of the modern era to succeed in tackling American standard songs and first major American artist to record an album entirely in Spanish. She has won 11 Grammy Awards and an Emmy Award, put 21 singles on the “Top 40” charts (including 10 in the “Top 10”) and sold more than 100 million albums worldwide.
With Ronstadt’s singular voice, it is only natural that she has – for the most part – left the guitar playing to others throughout her musical career. But play she does. She is a f ine accompanist. Some of her earliest singing was accompanied by her father playing guitar and she owns an old Martin 1-21 that was originally purchased by her grandfather in 1896. She was floored when good friend David Bromberg showed her his Martin M-42 David Bromberg Signature Edition (for details on the David Bromberg Signature Edition, see the July 2006 Sounding Board) and that guitar encounter got the ball rolling on a namesake Linda Ronstadt guitar.
Her dream guitar has always been a 12-fret Martin 00 with an ample portion of abalone. Combining taste, elegance, integrity and tone, Martin is excited to introduce the 00-42 Linda Ronstadt Limited Edition.
Limited to just 150 instruments, the 00-42 Linda Ronstadt Limited Edition guitar closely approximates an original Mar tin 00-42 from the turn of the previous century, with the elongated body, wide (1 13/16” at the nut) neck and slotted headstock of the graceful 12-fret design providing extraordinarily rich, balanced tone. Back and sides of Madagascar rosewood showcase deep, dark color and full, powerful timbre nearly identical to the nowendangered Brazilian rosewood, while the Adirondack spruce top paired with 1/4” width scalloped Adirondack spruce braces contributes superb clarity and dynamic range. The modified V neck with diamond volute is carved from genuine mahogany.
The lavish appointments are pure St yle 45: select abalone pearl encircling the rosette and the top, back and sides, all accented by fine black/white purfling; multi-colored mosaic back strip; “C.F. Martin” in block letters inlaid on the polished Madagascar rosewood headplate in abalone pearl and black ebony fingerboard inlaid with St yle 45 abalone pearl snowflake position markers. The body, headstock and neck are bound in grained ivoroid, with the latter two additionally detailed with fine black/white inlays.
The black ebony pyramid bridge is fitted with abalone pearl-inlaid white bridge pins; the white endpin is likewise topped with abalone pearl. Elegant Waverly™ tuners with engraved polished bronze side plates and grained ivoroid knobs provide precision tuning. Aging toner on the top and Martin’s flawless polished gloss finish throughout highlight the abalone pearl appointments in spectacular style. Only one element of this spectacular guitar steps away from its vintage inspiration: Linda Ronstadt’s bold signature, reproduced in mother of pearl between the 18th and 19th frets.
Bold may be the word that describes Linda Ronstadt best, as it informs so many aspects of her career. A Tucson native of Mexican, English, German and Dutch ancestry, she first began performing around her hometown as a teenager with her brother and sister. After a semester at the University of Arizona, she moved to Los Angeles and soon joined the Stone Poneys, a folk trio. The group recorded three albums before disbanding, but Different Drum, a song written by Michael Nesmith of the Monkees and recorded with studio musicians, became a “Top 20” hit.
She struggled as a solo artist for the next five years, though one song, Long Long Time, landed on the “Top 40.” Only with the release of the album “Don’t Cry Now” did Ronstadt begin garnering serious attention, with the single Love Has No Pride showing the way. The release of “Heart Like A Wheel” in 1974 made her a star; You’re No Good topped the charts, When Will I Be Loved reached No. 2 and I Can’t Help It If I’m Still In Love With You hit No. 2 on the country charts and won Ronstadt her f irst Grammy Award.
In 1987, after collaborating with Dolly Parton and Emmylou Harris to make the best-selling “Trio” album, Ronstadt tackled a project close to her heart and her family tradition, an album of Mexican folk songs, recorded entirely in Spanish. “Canciones de Mi Padre” (“My Father’s Songs”) became the largest selling Spanish album by an American artist of its era and a Broadway stage show featuring Ronstadt performing songs from the album, filmed and broadcast by PBS, earned her an Emmy Award. She followed it with a second album, “Mas Canciones,” which received a Grammy Award. In 1987, she also joined forces with James Ingram to record Somewhere Out There for the movie An American Tale.
In 1989, she returned to her rock and pop roots with “Cry Like a Rainstorm, Howl Like the Wind;” the duet Don’t Know Much with Aaron Neville reached No. 2 on the charts and earned both artists two Grammy Awards. In the 1990s she tackled a range of recording projects, from the lullaby record of “Dedicated to the One I Love” and the rock of “We Ran” to the folk-country of “Trio II” with Dolly Parton and Emmylou Harris and the folk-rock of “Western Wall: The Tucson Sessions” with Harris alone.
Linda Ronstadt selected The Land Institute as the recipient of charitable royalties from her signature guitar project. The Land Institute’s primary effort is to perennialize the major annual crops and to domesticate some wild perennial relatives of those major crops. Most of their work involves genetics, plant breeding and soil ecology. Around 70% of the calories that feed humanity come from rice, wheat, corn and soybeans. These crops also grow on about the same percentage of the world’s farm acres. They are annuals and grown in monocultures. With yearly tilling, soil is disturbed and erosion is the result. Minimum till or no-till is a relatively recent development that does save soil, but in nearly all cases uses herbicides. Such an approach means, to paraphrase a line from the Vietnam War, we have to poison our soils to save them. Added in our time are fossil fuel dependency and pesticides. Nature’s ecosystems over the millions of years, on the other hand, feature perennials in mixtures called polycultures. We destroyed these natural ecosystems to plant our annual monocultures. This is the 10,000-year-old problem of agriculture. To solve it, we will need perennials with their perennial roots, year round, to hold the soil. When grown in mixtures, insects and pathogens are challenged and epidemics are unlikely. You can learn more about The Land Institute’s valuable work online at: www.landinstitute.org.
Delivered in a Geib™-style hardshell case, each Martin 00-42 Linda Ronstadt Limited Edition guitar bears an interior label personally signed by Linda Ronstadt and numbered in sequence with the edition total. Left-handed instruments can be special ordered at no additional charge: factory-installed electronics are available as an extra-cost option. Authorized C. F. Martin dealers will accept orders for the 00-42 Linda Ronstadt Limited Edition until all 150 guitars in the edition are allocated; participating Martin dealers will then be posted on the C. F. Martin website.