Often called "the Mary Poppins of children's music," Linda Arnold has combined her pure soprano voice with fantasy-based songs to the delight of preschoolers and their parents. In her albums, videos, and television specials, Arnold spins a whimsical world where teddy bears can be kings and dinosaurs play baseball.
Arnold was born in New York City and grew up in the New York area, as well as Los Angeles. As a student at the University of California at Santa Cruz, Arnold studied music and theater arts. Later, she joined her husband, Eric Thiermann, in writing the music for several documentaries, and in recording folk-oriented albums such as Sweet Mother Earth and Nine Months, an album about the experience of pregnancy. When Arnold became a parent, her musical focus changed.
Discouraged by the lack of quality music available for her children, Arnold began writing and performing for children. She created her own label, Ariel Records, named after her young daughter. Arnold's first album, Make Believe, was released in 1986. It featured her daughter's voice and several original songs about the daily life of a preschooler, including "Popcorn" and "Mommy Go to Sleep." Several albums followed in quick succession, including Happiness Cake (1988), Peppermint Wings (1990), and The Rainbow Palace (1991), an album of songs from musical theater.
In 1989, Arnold became one of the first children's artists to be featured on the Kaleidoscope Concert series on The Disney Channel. About that time, Arnold's work began to be distributed by A&M's newly created children's division. She also kept up a busy concert schedule, often performing at zoos and children's museums.
In 1992, Arnold produced her own video, Linda Arnold's World of Make Believe, which won a Film Institute Award of Excellence. Two years later, Arnold created an acoustic-based lullaby album for children, Lullaby Land, which won a Parent's Choice Gold Award and a National Association of Parenting Publications Gold Award. When A&M closed its children's division, Arnold returned to her original label and produced two more albums, Sing Along Stew and Favorites in the Key of Fun, a best-of album featuring songs from her previous releases. In 2005, Circus Magic came out, followed the next year by Splash Zone and Broadway for Kids at the Rainbow Palace, which aimed to re-create a fun, musical theater-like setting for children. ~ P.J. Swift