Linda Ronstadt for First Old Lady

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Text on Button Linda Ronstadt FOR FIRST OLD LADY
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Off-white text and stars on a gold background on the bottom half of the button; dark blue cursive text and gold stars with blue outlines on an off-white background on the top half of the button

Curl Text © 1979 CBC Box 521 Santa Cruz, CA 95061
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Linda Ronstadt met Jerry Brown in 1971. At the time, he was California's Secretary of State, and her career in music had not yet made her famous. By 1975, Ronstadt's album Heart Like a Wheel was climbing the charts. Brown announced his candidacy for President of the United States in March, 1976. His bid for the presidency was unsuccessful, but in November, 1979, he announced he would again seek the Democratic nomination in 1980. Ronstadt performed several benefit concerts for Brown, and the public began referring to her as the First Lady. Brown ended his campaign on April 1, 1980, after falling behind in the nomination process. The pair remained friends, eventually parting ways as their careers took them in different directions.

While the term “Old Lady,” seems derogatory, it was actually a term of endearment for a long-time girlfriend in the 1970s. Describing Ronstadt as “First Old Lady” was an appeal to elect Brown to make the rock superstar the First Lady of the White House.


Linda & Jerry 1971-1983. (n.d.). The Pop History Dig. Retrieved March 12, 2024 from

Catalog ID MU0576