Okay, time to come clean by presenting the facts, which are a little clearer than my memory. I did not, in fact, see Linda Ronstadt on her 1974 tour with Jackson Browne -- an idea I might have left with you during our talk with Ron Brownstein. A website called "Setlist.fm, the Setlist Wiki" says Linda was actually in concert at Loyola University on May 26th, 1972, which would have been the end of my freshman year.
Linda's album at the time was self-titled - the cover featured a portrait of her wearing huge hoop earrings. Her backup band, on that album and on the tour, featured Don Henley, Glenn Frey and Randy Meisner, who were putting the Eagles together while touring with Linda. The setlist published on Setlist.fm says she performed three songs from that album, Jackson's "Rock Me on the Water," "Crazy Arms," and "I Fall to Pieces." I do remember a distinct country twang to the whole concert, which is why I also remember being surprised when Heart Like a Wheel came out in 1974 with a more rock and roll feel to it.
In 1970, she had released Silk Purse, the album Ron referred to as the one with her in a pigsty on the cover. The setlist says she performed her big hit from that album, "Long Long Time." THAT I remember hearing!
The song I remember most was her opening number, which came from her debut album, Hand Sown, Home Grown. It was an uptempo country kicker called "Only Mama That'll Walk The Line."
I could have sworn they played "Silver Threads and Golden Needles," but the setlist doesn't include it. Matter of fact, the setlist says they only played 9 songs, which doesn't seem right -- I think the concert went longer than 45 minutes...