By Kevin Zimmerman
(ABC’s Peter Jennings, In Search of America and CNN Erin Burnett OutFront)
Sometimes called “the least known, most heard composer in America,” Arnold has triumphed in the area of jingles, those short but immediately identifiable hooks so often associated with products or, in his case, TV broadcasters: In addition to the above mentioned, Stephen Arnold Music provides jingles for more than 250 local broadcasters.
“After a stint in L.A. playing clubs and pounding on doors for a record deal, I returned to Dallas to open a small recording studio,” he explains. “I ended up writing and producing local jingles, which led to writing music for several television stations. That opened the door for more TV and network writing gigs.”
The main theme for The Weather Channel is one of his best-known compositions. “In fact, every time you see a storm alert, you hear our theme,” he proudly notes. “Many themes are specific to a program, like Erin Burnett’s OutFront on CNN, Rachel Maddow on MSNBC, or National Geographic’s show Shark Men.” The company’s also responsible for many international themes, including CNN International, TV Thailand, Al Watan Kuwait, Trinidad’s CNMG, and Al Jazeera.
Arnold has also found success by sharing his insights with such projects as his “sonic branding” seminars – which examine the psychology behind music and how it can trigger emotional responses – and the book A Story of Six Strings, which chronicles his history through the backdrop of guitars.