Disney Legend Alan Menken Tickles The Ivories On The Morning Shift

Alan Menken
Alan Menken composed music for countless Disney films. He joined the Morning Shift in 2019 to discuss his life and work. Manuel Martinez / WBEZ
Alan Menken
Alan Menken composed music for countless Disney films. He joined the Morning Shift in 2019 to discuss his life and work. Manuel Martinez / WBEZ

Disney Legend Alan Menken Tickles The Ivories On The Morning Shift

If you were to put together a soundtrack to your childhood, it’s a safe bet that at least some of the songs on it would be by Alan Menken.

An Oscar, Tony and Grammy award winner, composer Alan Menken is known as a Disney Legend. From swimming under the sea with a Jamaican crab, to painting with all the colors of the wind with Pocahontas, or going the distance with a mythical Greek hero, Menken has scored it all.

And you’re still hearing his work today: he composed new songs for the live-action 2017 film Beauty and the Beast with Emma Watson, and again for the upcoming live-action for Aladdin, starring Will Smith, out in May.

Alan Menken joins the Morning Shift to talk about his career, play some songs on the WBEZ piano, and give us a peek into his one-man show, “A Whole New World Of Alan Menken” Saturday at Chicago’s Auditorium Theater.

GUEST: Alan Menken, composer

LEARN MORE: Alan Menken’s March 30th performance in Chicago at the Auditorium Theater