Long, Long Time - Linda Ronstadt (1970)
Gary White was a bass player who was a member of such forgotten bands as Circus Maximus (with Jerry Jeff Walker) and The Lost Sea Dreamers. He was also an incredible songwriter. In 1970 he played on Linda Ronstadt's seminal, underrated second album Silk Purse. She must have felt the same about his work because she recorded three of his songs for the disc, including today's selection. The album wasn't the huge hit Capital was hoping for, as they were trying to follow-up her success with The Stone Poneys' rendition of Mike Nesmith's "Different Drum" "Long, Long Time" stalled at number 25 on the charts and the album never rose over 103. Retrospect has been much kinder to the song. It is Linda's purest work. Her voice feels every line of pain that Gary stitched into his lyrics, and the Nashville studio cats backing her up weave a gentle pillow for her to cry on. Linda's strength was that at her peak she sang every song like she had written it. It is a feat severely lacking in most non-writing performers today. Studying her body of work should be part of every American Idol's competition process.
Here's a lovely duet with Bobby Darin I couldn't resist posting.