STORY WRITTEN BY TARA LYNN JOHNSON
For Digital First Media
Linda Eder has performed on many stages — from “Star Search” to Broadway to concert halls across the country. After three decades as a performer, she has decided to take listeners for “A Walk Down Memory Lane.” The show takes the Sellersville Theater stage on April 4.
Eder, born in Tucson, Arizona and raised in Brainerd, Minn., was an undefeated champion on the Ed McMahon-helmed talent show “Star Search” in the late 1980s. She spent time on Broadway after that as Lucy in “Jekyll & Hyde” (with music by her then-husband Frank Wildhorn).
All the while, she has recorded CDs — of standards, of Broadway tunes, of Streisand hits (she’s often compared to Barbra), and of Judy Garland classics (one of her heroes). She even has dabbled in country, soft rock, pop, and jazz. Eder has performed at Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, and Radio City Music Hall, and has collaborated with Oscar-winning composer Marvin Hamlisch, Tony-winner Michael Feinstein, and Boston Pops conductor Keith Lockhart, among others.
A three-decade career offers much to include in her show.
“I call the show ‘Memory Lane’ because it has songs that span my whole career going all the way back to the first time performing and includes many of the songs I am known for,” she said. “I chose songs that were important in my career for one reason or another.”
Some of the songs listeners can expect to hear: her quieted piano-only version of “Over the Rainbow,” “Someone Like You” from “Jekyll & Hyde,” and perhaps her most well-known song, “Vienna.”
Her main career is “singer,” but Eder is also a vocal coach, for several years now.
“I was surprised to find out how much I love teaching. I love seeing the ‘light bulb’ go off in their eyes and knowing that it’s making a difference,” she said. “It’s very rewarding to give back.”
She feels like it’s the next logical step, too.
“It feels like the natural progression,” she said. “I had no way of knowing when I started if I would even be any good at teaching. I was very happy to find out that I have a knack for it.”
She loves performing and teaching, and she loves taking care of her animals. Eder lives on a small two-horse farm in New York. Her male German Shepherd, Rodin, provides comic relief.
“He watches TV almost like a human,” she said. “It just clicked with him one day and he got it. His favorite channel is Animal Planet.”
She also loves the fact that Jake, her 15-year-old son with Wildhorn, has inherited some of his parents’ gifts.
“He’s all boy, but, at the same time, he’s a naturally gifted musician,” Eder said. “He gets it from both sides.”
Jake even recorded a duet with mom on her latest holiday CD, “Christmas Where You Are,” which was released in 2013 and features songs chosen in part by her fans. Jake and Linda sang “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” which Eder re-wrote to represent a classic mother-son debate over going outside to play in a snowstorm.
Hopefully, snowstorms in these parts are over and those attending the Sellersville show and Eder herself will easily be able to get to the theater. There, listeners may come to realize why her fans call her “The Voice.” Eder is grateful for them and for her voice, the gift that keeps on giving, letting her be singer and teacher, in addition to being animal caregiver/lover and mother.
“I don’t take it for granted,” she said. “I realize how blessed I am to have been given this career.”
IF YOU GO
What: Linda Eder’s “A Walk Down Memory Lane”
When: 8 p.m. Saturday, April 4.
Where: Sellersville Theater, 24 W. Temple Ave., Sellersville.
Tickets: $50 and $75
Info.: Call (215) 257-5808 or visit http://www.st94.com/listing