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Vintage Video: Linda Ronstadt & Aaron Neville Sing "Don't Know Much"

by VVN Music

In 1989, Linda Ronstadt released her album Cry Like a Rainstorm, Howl Like the Wind, her first set of contemporary music since 1982 after three American standards releases with Nelson Riddle and one of Mexican mariachi music.

Included on the album were four duets with Aaron Neville, the New Orleans based singer who was known for his 1966 hit "Tell It Like It Is" and his many recordings with the Neville Brothers. Three of those duets were released as singles in 1989 and early 1990, "Don't Know Much" (1989 / #2 Pop / #1 Adult Contemporary), "All My Life" (1989 / #11 Pop / #1 AC) and "When Something is Wrong With My Baby" (1990 / #58 Pop / #5 AC).

"Don't Know Much" was written by Barry Mann, Cynthia Weill and Tom Snow and was originally recorded by Mann in 1980. The song also had minor success for Bill Medley (1981) and Bette Midler (1983).

It was brought to Ronstadt by Steve Tyrell who went on to co-produce the track with Peter Asher. Their recording won the Grammy for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocals at the 1990 awards ceremony.

Along with going to number 2 on the Hot 100, "Don't Know Much" also topped the Adult Contemporary chart on this day (October 28) in 1989 where it stayed for five weeks.

The top five Adult Contemporary records on October 28, 1989:
  1. Don't Know Much - Linda Ronstadt (Featuring Aaron Neville)
  2. Healing Hands - Elton John
  3. Cherish - Madonna
  4. Call It Love - Poco
  5. Everything But My Pride - Cutting Crew