DAILY DIRT: Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Stevie, Olivia and Linda


Stevie Nicks...at the peak of her powers.

We enter chapter two of featuring our top 10 individual talents of the most influential era in pop music history: the 1960s through the 1980s. Today we pick our top 10 female singers of the 1970s. … Welcome to today’s three thoughts that make up Vol. 356 of The Daily Dirt.

1. The 1970s represented a time when the “pop sound” was emerging from the teen innocence of the 1960s to something with a deeper message.

That evolution was rooted in the late 1960s and blossomed in the 1970s. 

Here are my choices for the top 10 female singers of the decade that moved us from the influence of Woodtsock and Haight-Ashbury to provide us with a number of different sounds, styles and political causes:

  • 1. Stevie Nicks: Both as a member of legendary Fleetwood Mac and a solo artist, Nicks had the perfect look and an even more perfect sound of a true diva.
  • 2. Olivia Newton-John: Not only did she endear herself to America with her girl-next-door looks and personality, but the Australian-born Newton-John could sing. She had five No. 1 hits in the 1970s.
  • 3. Linda Ronstadt: She first captured our musical hearts as a mid-1960s member of the Stone Poneys (“Different Drum”). Ronstadt later rose to superstardom in the 1970s as a solo artist. She is now battling a rare brain disorder, making everyday tasks extremely difficult for the 75-year-old.
  • 4. Debbie Harry: She helped bring new wave music to the forefront as the face (and sound) of Blondie. She and the band had about 10 years’ worth of major hits, starting in the last half of this decade.
  • 5. Carly Simon: The song “You’re So Vain” alone earns her a spot on this list, arguably the top lyrics of the 1970s.
  • 6. Donna Summer: If ever a singer came along at the right time to capitalize on the disco/dance craze of the decade, it was Summer. Yes, quite the “Hot Stuff,” bay-bee.
  • 7. Carole King: One of the most decorated singer/songwriters in musical history, her “Tapesty” LP remains in many critics’ top 10 albums of all-time.
  • 8. Cher: She could have been placed in any of our three decades, but she had the most charted records in the 1970s. My all-time Cher fave, however, was in 1989 with “If I Could Turn Back Time.”
  • 9. Helen Reddy: She became the spokesperson for an entire generation with “I Am Woman.”
  • 10. Karen Carpenter: A tremendously gifted singer who, unfortunately, will always be remembered more for her early death from the result of congestive heart failure/anorexia. I have always said it is impossible to listen to a Carpenters song and not have the utmost respect for the talent that was Karen Carpenter.

Oh…And in case you may have been wondering about a few artists, no singer can appear in more than one decade. I make the rules. (PUBLISHER’S NOTE: Now Steve…who makes the rules? JRG)

2. The first car I ever owned was a used 1964 Chevy Impala convertible, which at the time of its release carried a $3,196 price tag.

Today that same Impala ragtop is valued at around $40,000. Maybe I should never have never traded that Chevy for an Oldsmobile a few years later …

3. This week’s most disgusting food item:

A restaurant in China, “Guolizhuang,” is dedicated to serving all types of dishes with animal genitalia — such as sheep gonads on a bed of curry and steamed sheep penis, The locals enjoy the dish’s flavor, but they also believe it is good for one’s health.

Hmmm …. hmmm …. hmmm …. 

Steve Thought O’ The Day — The first album I bought featuring strictly the sounds of an individual female artist was Carly Simon’s “Anticipation” in late 1971.

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