5 Facts About Linda Ronstadt’s Cover Of ‘Blue Bayou’

5 Facts About Linda Ronstadt’s Cover Of ‘Blue Bayou’ | I Love Classic Rock Videos

Linda Ronstadt - RHINO / Youtube

If there was an artist who could totally own another artist’s original, it was surely Linda Ronstadt. Blessed with a set of pipes and a genuineness that only she could pull off, it was easy for the vocal powerhouse to conquer numerous songs spanning different genres. That being said, her rendition of Roy Orbison’s 1963 classic hit, “Blue Bayou”, was on a league of its own. Here are some interesting facts surrounding Ronstadt’s version of the song.

Going for Gold

Linda Ronstadt’s version of “Blue Bayou” became her only gold-selling single and a signature staple in her shows. It also ranked high with her cover of Buddy Holly’s “It’s So Easy”, making her the first act to score two top 5 singles at the same time since the Beatles did a similar feat.

Twin Songs

Another Orbison song, “Crying”, sports similarities with “Blue Bayou”, in certain parts where the arrangement sounds similar in the playback. The two songs have also since been covered using Spanish and featuring female vocals, with the former being done by Rebekah Del Rio as “Llorando”, while the latter was performed by Bibi Gaytan as “Lago Azul”.

Backed By Friends 

For her 1977 album, Simple Dreams, in which the song was a part, Ronstadt was helped by J.D. Souther and Glenn Frey in picking the songs that would go into the record.


Peter Asher, Ronstadt’s producer, doubted that the song would be a hit. She was confident about the song, however, saying in a 1978 interview with Sounds magazine“I feel really good about ‘Blue Bayou’ being the single. I used to sing it’s so easy to have a hit, all you have to do is recycle it.’ Really. And you can quote me on that.”

Tired of the Buzz

While songs like “Blue Bayou” had given Ronstadt massive successes, she eventually grew tired of them, even to the point where she couldn’t bear to listen to her Greatest Hits collection. “I hated those records. I never thought of myself as a rock singer. I was interested in songs like ‘Heart Like a Wheel’ and I liked the others for about 15 minutes. But it wasn’t until I found Nelson Riddle that I had music I could live with,” she said to the San Fransico Chronicle in 2006.