NORTH SALEM, N.Y. – When Broadway star Linda Eder was 16, she began her professional singing career by appearing at the local Holiday Inn near her home in Brainerd, Minn. One Holiday Inn led to another and within a few years, she was appearing on TV’s “Star Search,” winning her category for an unprecedented 12 weeks running.
Though she never had formal voice lessons, the North Salem transplant said, “I learned by listening to Judy Garland, Barbra Streisand and Eileen Farrell. They were my teachers.”
When composer Frank Wildhorn heard her demo tape, he thought he may have found the voice for his forthcoming musical, “Jekyll and Hyde.” Eder not only won the leading role, she married the composer.
“It took seven years to get that show to Broadway,” she recalls. “When my son, Jake, was born, I realized I couldn’t continue that life. I’m not a city person, I’m a Minnesota girl.”
For the last 15 years, Eder has spent most of her time at her North Salem horse farm, but she continues to have a demanding concert schedule and has recorded dozens of CDs.
The North Salem Daily Voice asked Eder what she likes about living in North Salem. Here is her reply:
1. Horse Farms! I moved here because I am a horse lover and I moved my horse out here from Minnesota. I love that you can ride all over the town and that it is so beautifully set up for that. I love that you can be driving to work and see people riding along the road!
2. Location. It has the most wonderful small town country vibe and yet it is only an hour from Manhattan. In my line of work I am often required to be in NYC but I can't live there anymore. I am a country girl and it was the perfect compromise to find North Salem, be an hour from work and yet have a dirt road along one side of my property.
3. It's a beautiful town. I find it very unique. The trees seem bigger and older. The roads are winding and covered over by these old trees. I'm a tree lover and have often thought of going around town and photographing some of the many amazing old specimens you see along the roads.
4. The lots are usually large with beautiful old homes and there is an active open land foundation that works to keep the town so pristine. It sometimes feels like stepping back in time when you get off 684 and head into North Salem. I don't like futuristic or modern things. I like the old days, antiques. North Salem has the patina of a beautiful antiques.
5. Ultimately North Salem gives me a sense of peace. I have to travel all over the country for my work. It is stressful and tiring. I'm a homebody so it makes me homesick. When I drive home from the airport as soon as I get off 684 at exit 7 I feel a peace come over me and all the stress starts to flow out of my body. To me that is priceless.