Flying in from Las Vegas, Linda (Mabrey) Kristy is about to take center stage at the Paramount Theatre to finish out the Big Band Series alongside the Larry Mechem Band. Kristy is a graduate of Anderson High School and performed on the historic stage at age 5. Larry Mechem is well-known in the community for entertaining at local venues.
“I’m thrilled to perform in my hometown,” said Kristy, who has been singing professionally her entire life. “I do remember tap dancing on that stage when I was five. Wow — that was 60 years ago. It’s such a happy thought.”
Kristy loves performing big band numbers, including Doris Day and Rosemary Clooney tributes. Recently she was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award in the Hall of Fame from the Entertainment Industry.
This month she presented Tony Orlando with a proclamation from the Las Vegas Board of Commissioners announcing “Tony Orlando Day.” She reported that the two of them will be performing together at a benefit for Angel Paws, an organization pairing service dogs with disabled veterans.
“I love the rhythm (of big band music),” she said. “I love to dance anyway, but big band dancing is real. Big band music is slowly fading, but boy, is it good. It is the crème de la crème of my life.”
Larry Mechem has also had a long history on stage — 59 years, to be exact. He and several of the members of his current band were part of the Dixieland band known as the Naptown Stutters.
“I’ve played in the Paramount many, many times and I always look forward to it,” he said. “It is a beautiful venue — one of the best in the country. Any band that comes in will tell you the same. It’s great that it has been restored.”