Live from Music Row, Tuesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed cyber tech guru and singer-songwriter Katie Linendoll to the newsmaker line to talk about her background and new song Your Hands.
Leahy: We welcome to the newsmaker line right now, Katie Linendoll. Good morning, Katie.
Linendoll: Good morning.
Leahy: Katie, tell me about Katie Linendoll. I’ve got this picture of you with these kind of pink 1950-style cat eyeglasses. It’s quite a style. I also know one other thing about you. You’re a tech person, but you graduated from the Rochester Institute of Technology. Is that right?
Linendoll: That is correct. Yes. I’ve been a nerd, a proud nerd, my whole life.
Leahy: Are you from Upstate New York? Where are you from?
Linendoll: I’m from Erie, Pennsylvania.
Leahy: It’s a homecoming! It’s a homecoming segment here because wait for it, Katie. I grew up near Jamestown, New York.
Linendoll: Oh my goodness! We’re in good company because there’s some camaraderie when you’re in the I-80 corridor, there’s just something there, and you automatically get along. (Chuckles)
Leahy: And basically, if you grow up in Erie, Pennsylvania, or if you grow up in Jamestown, New York, and you’re, you know, you’re intellectually curious, you’re a nerd, you’re an academic. What you want to do, Katie, is get the heck out of there. (Laughter)
Linendoll: I wouldn’t have traded my upbringing for anything. I always tell people there’s a certain grit when you’re growing up in Erie, Pennsylvania, and you’re shoveling six feet of snow every single day running outside in the winter as it is in shorts and a t-shirt. There is grit and grace that comes with that kind of upbringing, if you will.
Leahy: Katie, you and Sharon Stone, separated at birth. Except you’re the younger version, right? She’s from Erie, right?
Linendoll: (Chuckles) Yes. And the tech background, too. Growing up, I have been fascinated with technology since I was about 12 years old. I started coding way before it was cool. And I have had a degree and a fascination on air. I’m known for showcasing the latest and greatest technologies and gadgets on top network national TV shows.
So when it comes to finding the coolest stuff that’s on the market and talking about the latest in AI or robotics or consumer tech, it has been a blessing to be known as a go-to in that space.
Leahy: So about Rochester. My brother started his collegiate career at the Rochester Institute of Technology.
Linendoll: Oh great!
Leahy: And a good friend of ours went to Rochester Institute of Technology. It’s a great school. It’s a really great school. It’s a fabulous school.
Linendoll: From cybersecurity to IT to computer science, it is a mecca, a hub of just very interesting intellectual people. I mean, I learned so much. I learned more from the people around me really, than from the classes, too, just because you have so many different personalities and you just sponge when you’re there.
Leahy: Where do you live now? In Rochester, New York, Erie, Pennsylvania, or out there in Silicon Valley?
Lindendoll: D, none of the above. I actually split my time between New York City and Boston, of all places, and a little bit of Nashville as well.
Leahy: And a little bit of Nashville? Really?
Leahy: What do you do here in Nashville? Do you record music here, by any chance?
Linendoll: I sure do. It’s been an interesting few years for everybody and I grew up with my dad, who is a drummer, and so I’ve been in the tech space for over 20 years.
Leahy: Katie, is it true that we have a song of yours?
Linendoll: You sure do.
Leahy: We are going to hear it. Here it is. It’s called Your Hands. The world debut on The Tennessee Star Report. Katie Linendoll singing Your Hands. (Your Hands plays)
Leahy: There you go. Your Hands debuting here on The Tennessee Star Report. Katie, just so you know, our friends at Baste Records are opening up an anti-woke music label here in Nashville. Would you like me to introduce you to them?
Linendoll: I’d be happy to take any introduction. Absolutely.
Leahy: Well, there you go. So how long has that song been out?
Linendoll: We pushed it out early December, right before Christmas. We just shot the music video. It has not been launched yet. I’m just so proud. I come from a proud military family, as I noted, from Erie, Pennsylvania, all about grace and grit. And this is a song for our guys that have served our nation, that are praising his name on high, and that just could write a story for the ages. And it is.
All the proceeds from Your Hands proudly support the Robert Irvine Foundation, who, as you know, Chef Irvine is an amazing chef, Restaurant Impossible. At the end, his nonprofit supports the strength and physical mental well-being of our service members, veterans, and first responders and their families.
So I always give a personal donation, and every one of my songs supports a boutique, small nonprofit. And I could not be more proud to have put out this song that means so much to me, but also is aligned with Robert’s Foundation.
Leahy: So, Katie, your website. Katielinendoll.com. You write an overtly pro-American Christian song like that. Do heads explode in Silicon Valley when they interact with you?
Linendoll: You know, I’ve done a really good job. I am truly authentic to everything that I believe in and unapologetically. And I’ve been like that my whole life. And being in not only the Hollywood scene, but also in the tech scene, I am adamant about my integrity, but also meeting people where they’re at.
And I’ve never had minimal interactions where people are a little off put. But I think it’s all in the approach. I really do. And I think when you stand firm, anytime you stand firm for something, you’re going to be met with opposition.
But I think it’s the approach and being a Christian and having the way that you approach things and the way that you interact with people, if you’re a good person and you showcase who you are, there’s no arguing it. So I think maybe I may be in difficult pockets, but it’s the way that I handle myself that has never been met with too much angst, if you will.
Leahy: So you appear on the Today Show with the folks at NBC.
Linendoll: I’ve been on Today Show for 10 years. Yes.
Leahy: 10 years?
Leahy: And they don’t give you any aggravation because you focus on tech?
Linendoll: I have a great rapport. I have a great relationship with everybody over on the show and with Rachel Ray as well. CBS Sports Radio and the Weather Channel, I’ve had the blessing to be working on those programs for over five years now.
Leahy: Rachel is also kind of from our neck of the woods. She’s from upstate New York. I think she’s from some were around Saratoga, isn’t she?
Linendoll: Yes. She’s a cool girl. She’s a very cool girl.
Leahy: Katielinendoll.com. Thanks so much for joining us. And keep us posted if you wish about your music career.
Linendoll: I will. Thank you.
Listen to today’s show highlights, including this interview:
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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Katie Linendoll” by Katie Linendoll.