Blue Bayou – Linda Ronstadt | Top 40 Chart Performance, Story and Song Meaning

Chart Performance: Pop (#3) and Adult Contemporary (#3); 1977

Story Behind The Song By Ed Osborne

As a teenager, aspiring performer Linda Ronstadt formed a folk trio with her siblings. After a move from Tucson to Los Angeles in 1964, she formed the Stone Poneys, with whom she reached #13 with Different Drum in 1967.

Subsequent Stone Poneys singles stiffed, so Linda went solo. She teamed up with a studio band of future Eagles, released a number of so-so chart performers, before racking up a #1 in 1975 with her version of Betty Everett’s 1963 R&B hit, You’re No Good. In fact, Linda made a specialty of charting with classic songs made popular by others, such as the Everly Brothers, Martha and The Vandellas, and Buddy Holly.

In 1977, Linda took on a Roy Orbison tune – a courageous move few singers attempted given Roy’s breathtaking vocal skills – and made it work.

Orbison’s Blue Bayou only peaked at #29 in 1963; however, Linda’s cover sailed to #3 and grabbed Grammy nominations for Best Record and Best Pop Female Vocalist.

This content and all Song Meaning articles were created and written by Top 40 Contributing Editor Ed Osborne. © 2024 Ed Osborne. All Rights Reserved. In addition to these song meaning articles, Ed has written our “Year in Music 1960s-1990s” articles.

Produced by:

  • Fred Foster

Lyrics Written by:

  • Roy Orbison
  • Joe Melson