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Suzy (Horton) Ronstadt grew up in Southern California and was in dance class from the time she was 3 years old until the present. As a child, she enjoyed singing and dancing in musicals and dance recitals. In her teens she got involved with San Bernardino Civic Light Opera and Melodyland Theatre in Anaheim, California where she performed in musicals including Music Man, Bells Are Ringing, Pajama Game, Guys & Dolls and Bye Bye Birdie with George Gobel.
Suzy Ronstadt Onstage Photo Courtesy Pete Gregoire
She met songwriter, Jimmy Webb, in their senior year at Colton High School. Jimmy wrote a musical for their senior class and Suzy did the choreography.
In Junior College, Jimmy formed a girls group with Suzy and 3 other 5’4" blondes and called the group "The Contessas". People thought the four girls were quadruplets. They recorded a 45 record with two of Jimmy’s songs and moved to Hollywood to pursue a music career.
The Contessas performed on several Band Stand type TV shows - Shebang, Shivaree, Lloyd Thaxton and Ninth Street West. They were about to sign with Motown Records when the group broke up. (See "The Contessas" Shivaree performance on You Tube here: The Contessas.) Jimmy Webb went on to receive 7 Grammies by the time he was 21.
The Contessas with Jimmy Webb
The Contessas Alyce Wheaton Sharon Johnson Suzy Horton Suzi Weir
Suzy moved to Lake Tahoe and became a Moro-Landis dancer at Harrah’s for two years and spent one year on the road with the "Tickle Your Fancy Revue" before returning to Southern California to work with Jimmy Webb again.
After singing background vocals on two Jimmy Webb albums ("And So On"
and "Words & Music") with Jimmy’s sister Suzan Webb, Suzy became inspired to write her own words & music. Her original song book continues to grow.
Bobby and Suzy Ronstadt
She moved to Tucson with Bobby Ronstadt in 1994, and began singing with Bobby and other local musicians and vocal groups including Four Way Traffic, Wild Angels, Michael Dues, Tom Cloney and Annie English at the Tucson Folk Festival, Fund Raisers, Memorials, and other venues in Tucson.
In 2012, Bobby Kimmel and Kathy Harris invited Bobby and Suzy Ronstadt to form a new vocal quartet, I Hear Voices! This collaboration has resulted in their debut CD in the Spring of 2013, and a wonderful new musical chapter of her life.
At almost every rehearsal someone says "I love this band!" and they all do.