Monkee Michael Nesmith, who was the writer of Linda Ronstadt's first hit, “Different Drum” which she sang when she was with the Stone Poneys, commented Aug. 24 on Facebook on her announcement that she had Parkinson's disease and paid tribute to the role she played in the song's becoming a Top 20 hit.
“The awful news about Linda losing her voice to Parkinson's is terrible, but it can never diminish the legacy she has created for us in the songs she has sung for all of us,” he wrote. “Because of her, these songs will live as long as people listen to songs and these songs will always sing with the same power and beauty that she was and is.
“Like all great gifts, these songs now sing to her as they once sang with her. Listen to them. You will hear what she has done. What she has given us. Her voice is far from stilled. It lives and sings forever down the halls of time.”
The Stone Poney's version of Nesmith's “Different Drum” debuted on the Billboard charts on Nov. 11, 1967. It rose to No. 13 and stayed on the charts 17 weeks. Ronstadt left the group for a solo career in 1968. “Long Long Time,” the first of her long string of solo hits, was released in August of 1970. Her first number one solo hit, “You're No Good,” was released in December of 1974.
“Linda did more for 'Different Drum' than I ever did -- or ever could have,” Nesmith concluded. “She breathed eternal life into it.”
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Linda's first two Stone Poneys albums are available together on one CD.