So many nails, Robert, hit smack-dab on the head! First of all, Wendy (along with Bonnie Raitt and Carole) was my fave lady rock singer of the '70s! Linda was far too strident and shrill for my tastes, Maria too quirky, and Joni was too delicate (her brilliance I'd finally get as I grew older and wiser...I was only 16 when I first listened to "Blue" upon its '71 release)!

Six of those first seven artists you mention in your second paragraph (we can add Bonnie to this list): It's amazing the monopoly on quality singer/songwriters Warner Bros. had (or, adding Jackson Browne, the WEA family, with his Asylum Records output)...only Carole from that list was the "outlier," holding court at Ode/A&M!

As each Wendy album was released, I kept hoping for the one that not only would "break" her with radio/popularity, but that would grab me, too! I always loved her voice...like Bonnie, her realness and warmth, without the vocal quirks and contrivances seemingly loved by some of the other gals. By the time "The Main Refrain" was released in '76, I was a 21-year-old jock at an FM rocker in Baton Rouge, LA (WFMF), doing the prime-time 7-midnight shift.

I loved each of the 4 of its songs you featured (especially the title track and "Is He Coming at All," but the one I chose to try to make a hit in BR was "Living is Good." You can probably guess how Wendy might've gone over in deep Louisiana, as I tried to play her at least once during each shift! With the switchboard closed, I answered my own phones, and every time I played her, calls of "Play 'Free Bird,'" and similar demands came in!

Your spot-on observation, that "there is a way in how their voices blend that just screams California; the wind in your air, a cool breeze, sun and paradise" is what must've been the motivation for me to MOVE there! Three-and-a-half years later, sure enough, I landed in my apartment in the Valley!

Karla Bonoff (who somehow managed to sidestep Warner Bros, and land on Columbia) was another fave of mine from that time...in fact, one of her songs is my favorite thing Ronstadt ever did: '76's "Someone to Lay Down Beside Me" (from Linda's "Hasten Down the Wind" album), a ballad so beautiful, even Linda dare not over-sing it to its death!

Thoroughly enjoyable, Robert, and thanks for tolerating my trip down memory lane!

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Well done. Congrats.

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Mar 1Liked by Robert C. Gilbert

Please send me more!! This is excellent!!

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Feb 28·edited Feb 28Liked by Robert C. Gilbert

Waldman is a new artist for me, so thank you for getting her on my radar.

Muldaur wasn't...or so I thought. I recently picked her up here self-titled debut on a whim. At a closing sale. I knew "Midnight at the Oasis," but wasn't expecting such a deep rest of the record.

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Thanks for this. It’s really wonderful. I knew little about her before reading this.

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Thanks for introducing this singer to me. The mid-1970's was a time when I became bored with rock and was never a punker. So it was sort of a no man's land at the time for my ears.

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