|Genres||Children's music: pop, rock, funk, bluegrass, R&B, doo-wop, folk, comedy|
Trio Lane Records
|Members||Donald "Donny" Becker|
Stephen Michael Schwartz
|Past members||Rick Cunha (1984)|
Parachute Express is a band of three California-based entertainers who perform, write and produce music for children. Members are Stephen Michael Schwartz, Janice Hubbard, and Donny Becker. Parachute Express gained national prominence as recording artists for Gymboree Play & Music, Walt Disney Records, and Trio Lane Records. They sing the theme song to the popular television series Jay Jay the Jet Plane and have been seen on TV shows Nickelodeon's Nick Jr. Rocks and Disney's Kaleidoscope Concerts. Their music is featured in over 550 Gymboree franchises throughout the world, as well as in preschools, daycare centers, and diverse informal education programs.
Parachute Express created a total of twelve albums to date, selling over half a million units (figure for 2004).
In the early 1990s, Parachute Express recorded for Walt Disney Records under the Music Box Artist Series. Since 1998, the trio has its own label, Trio Lane Records. Many of their albums have won national awards including NAPPA awards, the Film Advisory Board Award, an Indie Award, a Toy of The Year Award, and several times the Parents' Choice Gold Award.
Their long list of honors further includes featured performers at the 42nd and 43rd Presidential Inaugural Festivities, performing their "poetic anthem" We The Children. This song was included in the Presidential library by then First Lady Hillary Clinton. They performed half a dozen times at the Annual Easter Egg Hunt on the lawn of the White House and continue to perform to date.
Their video Come Sing With Us! won the Parents Choice Video Award and an International Monitor Award. They have been voted "Best Group" by the American Academy of Children's Entertainment. In 2010 and 2011, Parachute Express toured China, performing in Nanjing, Shanghai, Beijing, Tianjin, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen.
- Shakin' It! (1984)
- Sunny Side Up (1990)
- Feel the Music (1991)
- Circle of Friends (1991)
- Over Easy (1991)
- Happy to Be Here (1991)
- Friends, Forever Friends (1996)
- Dr. Looney's Remedy (1998)
- Who's Got A Hug? (1998)
- Don't Blink (2005)
- Gymbo's Play and Pretend Favorites (2007)
- It's a Gymboree Party! (2007)
- Dr. Looney's Remedy (1995; The music video of this song is most notable for being on the previews of the VHS version of the 1995 film, A Goofy Movie.)
- The Coming of December (2005)
Tracks in compilations
- Disney's Music Box: Disney's Spotlight (1992): Smooth Movin' Boogie Express
- The Man Who Ran Away with the Moon (1992): Smooth Movin' Boogie Express
- Pocahontas: The Enchanted Songs (1995)
- Exercise Party: Stretchin' and Jumpin' Songs for Young Children (2003): Can You Show Us; Reach Up High
- Hear and Gone in 60 Seconds: One Minute Songs by an Awesome Array of Award Winning Artists (2003): Alphabet Soup
- Jay Jay the Jet Plane: 24 Fun and Inspirational Stories for Kids (2003): Jay Jay the Jet Plane theme song
- Jay Jay the Jet Plane: 12 Fun and Inspirational Stories for Kids (2004): Jay Jay the Jet Plane theme song
- Songs for Little Boys: Trains, Cowboys, Pirates and More! (2004): I Like Trucks
- Songs for Little Princesses: Ballerinas, Best Friends, Dressing Up and More! (2004): Polka Dots, Checks and Stripes; Dress Up Queen
- Dance Party: Movin' and Groovin' Songs for Young Children (2006): Don't Blink; Dance, Puppet, Dance
- Favorite Lullabies: 15 Gentle Songs to Ease Your Baby to Sleep (2006): Good Night Moon
- Classic Animal Songs (2007): Me and My Dog
- Kindergarten Prep: Songs to Get Your Child Ready to Learn (2008): Tie a bow; Red Means Stop
- 1989 - Live In Concert (Gymboree)
- 1995 - Come Sing With Us! (Disney)
- 1995 - Parents Choice Video Award for Come Sing With Us!
- 1995 - International Monitor Award in the category Best Electronic Effects for Come Sing With Us!
- 1998 - National Association of Parenting Publications of America (NAPPA) Gold Award for Doctor Looney's Remedy
- 1999 - Best Group Award by the American Academy of Children's Entertainment
- 1999 - Indie Award in the category Best Children's Album
- 2005 - Creative Child Magazine's Toy of the Year Award for Don't Blink
- 2005 - NAPPA Gold Award for Don't Blink
- 2005 - Parents Choice Gold Award for Don't Blink
- 2008 - NAPPA Gold Award for It's a Gymboree Party
In popular culture
- Emma Stone mentioned the Parachute Express song Polka Dots, Checks, and Stripes as the inspiration to her outfit at the 87th Annual Academy Awards Nominee Luncheon.
- "The Spokesman-Review - Google News Archive Search". google.com. Retrieved 25 May 2016.
- Rees, Brenda (2004-09-16). "How to get The Kids' Reading Room Jumping for Joy". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2009-07-29.
- "Kaleidoscope concerts". worldcat.org. Retrieved 25 May 2016.
- IDEA Health & Fitness: Inspire Kids and Teens to Fitness. San Diego, California: IDEA Health & Fitness Association, 2003, page 24. ISBN 1-887781-30-7. Accessed 2008-09-27.
- McDonald, Margaret Read (2000). "Dancing Tales". Shake-It-Up Tales!. Atlanta, Georgia: August House. p. 51. ISBN 978-0-87483-570-0. Retrieved 2012-10-27.
For this I particularly like the song "Tingalayo" as performed by Parachute Express on Shakin' It (Burbank: Walt Disney Records, 1992). I begin by letting the children trot in a circle to the "run little donkey run" refrain. Then, at certain spots in the music, we stop and just shake our hips and dance. It is fun to play the rhythm sticks to this song too.
- McCormick M: "Parachute Express Is Back." Billboard 110 (39).
- BWW News Desk (23 September 2005). "'It Came From Beyond' Extends at NYMF". BroadwayWorld.com. Retrieved 25 May 2016.
- Wharton D: "H'w'd to Invade D.C. for Inaugural Events." Variety 1993-01-11. Accessed 2008-09-25.
- Heffly L: "Parachute Express Drops In With ‘Looney’s’ Tunes Kids Will Love." Los Angeles Times 1998-07-23: F49. Accessed 2008-09-24.
- "What'sNew". ycwb.com. Retrieved 25 May 2016.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-11-09. Retrieved 2010-11-26.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- Thomas E: "Doctor Looney's Remedy." School Library Journal 81 (2): 82. ISSN 0362-8930.
- "How's This Sound?; Yes, Virginia, There Are CDs That Parents and Kids Can Enjoy". 2003-12-04.
- Levine, Evan (1995-09-27). "'Parachute Express' Doesn't Fly" (review). Chattooga Press. Newspaper Enterprise Association. p. 6. Retrieved 2009-07-29.
- Licata, Elizabeth (2015-02-03). "Emma Stone Deserves A Round Of Applause For Mixing Stripes With Polka Dots And Still Looking Cool". The Gloss.
When I was a small child, a music video for a song called “Polka Dots, Checks, and Stripes” from a group called Parachute Express had a big effect on me. It was about a little girl who did not care about style “rules” and just wanted to have fun, so she wore polka dots, checks, and stripes all at the same time, and it was weird but great. That little girl was my first style icon. [...] Emma Stone showed up to the 87th Annual Academy Awards Nominee Luncheon wearing this look, which Red Carpet Fashion Awards reports is from the Michael Kors 2015 Pre-Fall collection.