I'm a songwriter who's written a few hundred pop, rock and R&B songs, including some you may have heard on the radio or have streamed, like #1 hits "Crush" by Jennifer Paige and "That's What Love Is For" by Amy Grant, as well as Top 10 hits like "Nothin' At All" by Heart. I've also written two theme songs (words and music) for Disney that have been a big part of my career.
In May 2023, Billboard magazine published their "100 Greatest Disney-verse Songs of All Time," and two of mine, the "DuckTales" and "Chip n' Dale: Rescue Rangers" themes, are on the list at #19 and #63. It's a compilation including every Disney classic from "When You Wish Upon a Star" to "Circle of Life." To be featured in the rankings and in the company of so many songwriters I admire is a genuine honor.
Last year, my theme song for "Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers" was covered by rap artist and singer Post Malone for the new Disney+ film. I think Post did a fantastic job. He's a very talented guy... I have his song "Circles" at the top of my playlist.
The film won the Emmy for Outstanding Television Movie after debuting at #2 on the Nielsen movie streaming charts (and #5 on the overall chart). It's a clever take on the original show and it was a lot of fun to walk the red carpet at the Hollywood premiere at Disney's El Capitan Theater and hear my song in that historic space.
I also wrote the theme song (words & music) for another popular Disney animated TV show, "DuckTales" (the original and reboot). DuckTales currently airs in 162 countries. Ever since I was a kid, I wanted to travel the world and see as many places and experience as many cultures as possible, so to hear a song I wrote be sung in 34 different languages is an incredible thing.
My latest project is a stage musical I wrote with my friend, actress Lesley Nicol, called "How the Hell Did I Get Here?" Featuring 10 original songs, it's based on her life and career in show biz. Lesley starred as the memorable Mrs. Patmore on the international hit TV show "Downton Abbey" for six years, as well as its 2019 worldwide #1 box office smash film version and the 2022 movie sequel.
Lesley and I opened our show Off-Broadway in New York City last April and the show was nominated for an Off Broadway Alliance Award just two weeks later, which was incredible. Before we got to NYC, we had already performed our musical in London, Hong Kong and Chicago. What's especially cool for me is that I get to accompany Lesley onstage on piano every night for the songs we wrote together. We had the best time creating the show... basically, all we did was laugh.
I've always loved musicals and I've previously written them for stage ("Butterfly" at the Goodspeed Opera House), film and TV (an all-sung CBS pilot titled "Shangri-La Plaza"), but for years pop songs were my main focus. It's great to come full circle.
One of the most gratifying things I've experienced in my career are the reactions I receive when people find out I'm the writer of the “DuckTales” song. I get to hear great stories about their happy childhood memories of the song. And since the reboot, parents not only share their memories of the original version, but also tell me about the joy their own kids are getting from the song today. That's something I never would have dreamed of when I wrote it thirty-plus years ago.
I also enjoy checking out the newest YouTube performances of the "DuckTales" song done by fans. Over 1,000,000 versions that have been uploaded so far and there are more to watch every month. As a writer, there is no greater compliment than to have that many people cover your work. I genuinely appreciate everyone's fondness for the song (and show), as well as their creativity.
I live in LA and love Southern California, but grew up a few hundred miles north in the Bay Area. (In the photo above, I'm taking a ferry ride from Tiburon to San Francisco). I wrote my first musical there for my fifth grade class to perform. That production actually made the local newspaper when it we put it on.
My love of music started even before writing that first musical at the age of 10. I can remember writing songs on our living room piano at the age of 5, so you could say music has always been in my blood. I was really fortunate that my parents encouraged me to pursue my dream.
Creating music professionally for a few decades has been a fantastic experience. I do what I love and love what I do and I'm grateful my songs have resonated with enough people to allow me to have a career that's been so satisfying.
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