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Healing through her music, and having fun while doing it are trademarks of Grammy-nominated performer Linda Petty. Petty and the Main Event entertain at the Tannenbaum Ball on Dec 12.

Linda Petty and the Main Event are featured performers at this year's Tannenbaum Ball, part of the Gillespie County Historical Society's Preservation Weekend. The Ball is Friday, Dec 12 from 7:00 to 11:30 p.m. at Pioneer Pavilion in Lady Bird Johnson Park. Reservations can be made through Dec 5 by calling 830-997-2835.
For more information on Linda Petty: www.lindapetty.com, 214-328-2523

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Linda Petty:
Healing through harmonies

byPhil Houseal
Dec 3, 2008


Linda Petty wanted to be a doctor. She turned out to be a singer. But she still helps heal people who come to hear her.

"I doctor with my music," explained the veteran entertainer who will grace the stage at the Tannenbaum Ball during the Gillespie County Historical Society's Preservation Weekend. "Instead of using scalpels and prescriptions pads, my music is what heals people."

Petty has done everything a musician can do. She grew up singing in her church and earned her degree in Vocal Performance.

Professionally, she has shared the stage with such legends as Phyllis Diller, Dionne Warwick, Nell Carter, and Lee Greenwood (she was a backup singer for The Carpenters, Nancy Wilson, and sang with James Brown). Her band has performed in clubs and showrooms around the world, from Skagway, Alaska to Istanbul, Turkey, including a cruise on the Love Boat.

Petty has recorded 17 CDs, and has been nominated for Grammy awards an astounding 21 times. But her favorite memories come from the folks in her audience.

"People call and tell stories all the time about how I touched them," she said. "One gentleman called me in middle of night. He told me he was going to commit suicide that night, until I came through the audience and touched him while singing Just the Way You Are. Another time I was singing at a retirement center, and a song made someone speak for first time in two years. That song connected with her."

Petty touches people like that, literally.

"I am a toucher," she said. "I like to pat people on shoulder, and sing as I walk through the audience. You don't sing to people; you sing through people."

Petty did not abandon her medical career completely. She is now a Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist. But don't get the idea that Petty's show is group therapy. Her band puts on a high-energy act, ranging from tasteful background music to a Vegas-style show and wrapping up with popular dance tunes.

"I play what the crowd wants to hear," Petty noted. "It's all about remembering the crowd, playing their songs, connecting with them. I don't sing with my eyes closed; that energy has to flow from me to each and every being there."

Petty's band, The Main Event, is what she calls "a talented band, not just a good band - there is a difference."

Her partner Larry Petty plays piano, directs, arranges, and sings. He has worked with top names in the business and is a regular in the orchestra for Dallas dinner theater. Drummer Frank DeLeon also composes and arranges, and can be counted on for leading the crowd in a comic routine.

But what makes her stand out flows from her first desire to heal.

"We connect with the people," she said. "This is a calling; my voice is God's voice. It touches and heals everyone. Whether it makes you happy or sad, you feel something. Music is a part of life that stirs memories and emotions. It makes you know you are alive!"