Walt Disney Co. reached into its storied past to find the perfect song to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Disneyland.

Music legend Richard Sherman – who with his late brother Robert wrote the songs for “Mary Poppins,” “The Jungle Book” and many more Disney classics – was hired to compose a special new track to follow the nightly fireworks show at the Anaheim park; it began playing May 21.

“It’s a great honor for me to be asked because Walt Disney was so important in my career and I’ve written this song as a tribute to him,” said the 87-year-old tunesmith, whose song, which he calls “Kiss Goodnight,” has been enchanting park visitors since early summer.

“Walt used to describe the fireworks which ended each day at Disneyland as a little kiss goodnight to the guests, and as soon as I heard that story I knew I would use it as a song title one day.”

Disney Chairman and Chief Executive Bob Iger relished the opportunity to bring Sherman back into the Disney fold to write the special song, which is performed by Broadway singer Ashley Brown. Speaking at the company’s D23 Expo earlier this month, he said, “It’s hard to think of anyone who has done a better job representing Disney. He’s practically written the soundtrack of our lives.”

CEO Goes Distance

TaskUs co-founder and Chief Executive Bryce Maddock often travels to the Philippines on business, but earlier this month he went to Cebu, the country’s second largest city, for a different reason.

Maddock competed in an Ironman half-triathlon, traversing 70.3 miles by swimming, biking and running. It’s his fourth such event since he started doing them last year, and he also completed a full Ironman triathlon in Idaho last month in temperatures reaching 108 degrees.

While the Cebu event only reached 90 degrees, Maddock said the humidity made things especially tough. Despite the obstacle, he still finished 76th out of more than 1,800 athletes, with a time of roughly five hours and two minutes.

“It was my second fastest time,” said Maddock, 29, who’s about to start training for November’s New York City Marathon and a January Ironman event in Panama.

“I spend so much time working and inside my head,” he said. “Triathlon is a way for me to stay connected to my body.”

As a reward for finishing the grueling competition, racers were treated to ice baths, massages and buckets of beer at the finish line.

“This was the best organized race I’ve ever done,” said Maddock.

Staff reporters Sandro Monetti and Omar Shamout contributed to this column. Page 3 is compiled by Editor Charles Crumpley. He can be reached at ccrumpley@labusinessjournal.com.

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