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Musical Chameleons: From Linda Ronstadt to Lady Gaga

Joanne by Lady Gaga album art
ladygaga.com
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The album art for the latest recording from Lady Gaga, Joanne, in part

With the upcoming Super Bowl LI on Feb. 5 and the 59th annual Grammy Awards the following weekend, it seems a good time to discuss music.

Huh?

Humor me for a moment. The halftime entertainment for this year's Super Bowl is Lady Gaga, who won a 2014 Grammy for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album for her recording Cheek to Cheek with Tony Bennett.

Like Linda Ronstadt before her, Lady Gaga has shown a remarkable ability to flow comfortably into many musical genres. Ronstadt has made recordings of mariachi music, standards and even classical.

The recording Ronstadt produced in 2002 called Cristal: Glass Music through the Ages, featured Dennis James, whose name you'll possibly recognize as the former house organist for the Ohio Theatre, the Emerson String Quartet, soprano Ruth Ann Swenson and a number of other musicians. On that recording, she showed herself to be just as comfortable singing Scarlatti ...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NpWC8y4J8mo

... as she was singing You're No Good ...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_bj_32QeAaU

... or traditional mariachi favorites, as in this 1989 Grammy performance.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5KR67g0OoRM

All I'm saying is, you can't always tell a book by it's cover, and good music can come from totally unexpected places. Follow this link to read more about Lady Gaga's 2014 recording with Tony Bennett.