Remembering Disney Legend Richard M. Sherman

Disney Legend Richard M. Sherman, half of the Academy Award®-winning songwriting crew of the Sherman Brothers (along with his late brother, Disney Legend Robert B. Sherman), handed away Saturday, Could 25, at Cedars-Sinai Medical Middle in Beverly Hills, resulting from age-related sickness. He was 95 years previous. Some of the prolific composer-lyricists within the historical past of household leisure, and a key member of Walt Disney’s internal circle of inventive abilities, Richard garnered 9 Academy Award nominations (successful two Oscars® for his work on the 1964 basic Mary Poppins), received three GRAMMY® Awards, and acquired 24 gold and platinum albums over the course of his 65 yr profession. His profession ran the gamut from the early days of rock n’ roll (with such hits as “You’re Sixteen”) and tv to Broadway and Hollywood.

Generations of moviegoers and theme park friends have been launched to the world of Disney by means of the Sherman brothers’ magnificent and timeless songs. Even at present, the duo’s work stays the quintessential lyrical voice of Walt Disney. The Sherman brothers have been maybe finest recognized for his or her work on Mary Poppins (1964), for which they received two Oscars: Finest Rating – Considerably Authentic and Finest Authentic Tune for “Chim Chim Cher-ee.” One other cherished tune from the movie, “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,” turned a pop hit, coming into the Billboard Scorching 100 in 1965, whereas the lullaby “Feed the Birds” turned one in all Walt’s favourite songs—ever.

“Richard Sherman was the embodiment of what it means to be a Disney Legend, creating alongside along with his brother Robert the beloved classics which have grow to be a cherished a part of the soundtrack of our lives,” mentioned Bob Iger, CEO of The Walt Disney Firm. “From movies like Mary Poppins and The Jungle E-book to points of interest like ‘it’s a small world,’ the music of the Sherman Brothers has captured the hearts of generations of audiences. We’re ceaselessly grateful for the mark Richard left on the world, and we prolong our deepest condolences to his household.”

Pete Docter, Chief Inventive Officer, Pixar Animation Studios, mentioned, “You don’t get songs like ‘A Spoonful of Sugar’ with no real love of life, which Richard handed on to everybody fortunate sufficient to be round him. Even in his 90s he had extra power and enthusiasm than anybody, and I all the time left renewed by Richard’s infectious pleasure for all times.”

“The Sherman brothers have been skilled optimists who discovered an ideal patron in Walt Disney. Their songs had an upbeat outlook that spilled over into Richard’s life, which was not with out its troubles and challenges,” mentioned Leonard Maltin, movie historian, writer, and educator. “He was particularly proud that he and his brother carried on a songwriting profession like their father, who inspired them early on.”

Born on June 12, 1928, in New York Metropolis, Richard and his brother would, years later, go on to comply with of their Tin Pan Alley songwriter father’s, Al Sherman’s, footsteps. The Sherman household relocated to Beverly Hills in 1937, after years of cross-country strikes. Richard attended Beverly Hills Excessive College earlier than he majored in music at Bard School. Drafted into america Military, he served as conductor for the Military band and glee membership from 1953 to 1955.

In 1951, Gene Autry was the primary to document a Sherman brothers tune, “Gold Can Purchase You Something However Love.” However the songwriters’ large break wouldn’t come till seven years later, when Mouseketeer (and fellow future Disney Legend) Annette Funicello recorded their tune “Tall Paul.” That tune peaked at No. 7 on the charts, promoting greater than 700,000 singles.

The success of such songs caught the eye of Walt, who employed the Sherman brothers as workers songwriters for The Walt Disney Studios. Their first project: write a tune for the made-for-television film The Horsemasters (1961), starring Funicello. Quickly, they might contribute to such characteristic movies as The Absent-Minded Professor (1961), The Mother or father Lure (1961), Summer season Magic (1963), The Sword within the Stone (1963), Mary Poppins (1964), That Darn Cat! (1965), Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree (1966), The Jungle E-book (1967), The Happiest Millionaire (1967), The Aristocats (1970), and Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971). They might in the end write greater than 200 songs for some 27 movies and 24 tv productions.

In addition they contributed music for a lot of theme park points of interest around the globe, together with “There’s a Nice Large Stunning Tomorrow,” “The Tiki, Tiki, Tiki Room,” and “It’s a Small World”—the latter of which Richard as soon as described as “a prayer for peace.” Within the early Eighties, the brothers returned to write down songs for EPCOT Middle (now often called EPCOT) and Tokyo Disneyland, together with “One Little Spark” and “Meet the World.”

Within the early Nineteen Seventies, the Sherman brothers left The Walt Disney Studios to pursue different movie tasks. Following their work with Disney, the Sherman Brothers went on to supply an array of music, songs and occasional screenplays to such memorable household movies as Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968), Snoopy Come House (1972), Charlotte’s Internet (1973), The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1973), Huckleberry Finn (1974), and The Slipper and the Rose (1976).

The Sherman brothers made historical past in 1973 by changing into the one Individuals ever to win 1st Prize on the Moscow Movie Competition. The Russian equal to the Oscar was bestowed to the Sherman Brothers for his or her movie musical The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, for which they penned the script and songs. In 1976, The Slipper and the Rose was chosen for Nice Britain’s annual Royal Command Efficiency. This movie equally includes a Sherman brothers’ screenplay and musical/tune rating.

Richard and his brother have been inducted as Disney Legends in 1990.

In 1992, Walt Disney Information launched a retrospective assortment of their music, The Sherman Brothers: Disney’s Supercalifragilistic Songwriting Crew. The brothers returned to the studio in 1998 to compose music for The Tigger Film; that yr, additionally they penned their autobiography, Walt’s Time: From Earlier than to Past. In 2009, a second compilation of hits, The Sherman Brothers Songbook, was launched, and their life tales have been instructed within the documentary movie The Boys: The Sherman Brothers’ Story (directed by Richard’s son, Gregory V. Sherman, in collaboration with Robert’s son, Jeffrey Sherman).

In 2005, Richard and Robert have been inducted into the Songwriters Corridor of Fame. Three years later, the brothers have been awarded the Nationwide Medal of the Arts, “for unforgettable songs and optimistic lyrics which have introduced magic to the display and stage. The Sherman brothers’ music has helped convey pleasure to hundreds of thousands.” Through the ceremony, held on the White Home, First Girl Laura Bush famous, “These medals acknowledge nice contributions to artwork, music, theater, literature, historical past, and common scholarship… Recipients of the Nationwide Medal of the Arts signify the breadth of American creativity and the depth of the human spirit.”

In 2010, Richard and fellow award-winning composer John Debney collaborated on the tune “Make Means for Tomorrow Right now” for Marvel Studios’ Iron Man 2. That very same yr, The Walt Disney Firm saluted the Sherman brothers for his or her musical contributions to Disney Parks worldwide. They have been honored with their very personal “window” on Primary Avenue, U.S.A. (at Disneyland Park in California), which states: “Two Brothers Tunemakers – Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman: We’ll Write Your Tunes For a Tune.”

Richard was preceded in loss of life by his brother in 2012. The next yr, actors B. J. Novak and Jason Schwartzman portrayed Robert and Richard, respectively, in Saving Mr. Banks (2013), a dramatized account of the making of Mary Poppins. 5 years later, The Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California, rededicated Stage A because the Sherman Brothers Stage. On the time, Richard mentioned, “It’s been a pleasure, it’s been an honor, and it’s been a privilege to work right here at The Walt Disney Studios, working for Walt Disney and for all of the sensible, sensible folks with whom Bob and I related by means of the years.”

In 2015, a tv particular chronicling his life, Richard M. Sherman: Songs of a Lifetime, produced by Disney Legend Don Hahn, debuted on PBS SoCal. Additionally in 2015, for the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration, Richard contributed the tune “A Kiss Goodnight,” which was tied to his 2017 guide of the identical title from Disney Editions. For The Walt Disney Studios, Richard wrote new lyrics for the live-action The Jungle E-book (2016) and two years later appeared in Christopher Robin, for which he composed three new songs.

Most lately, Richard wrote a brand new tune (with composer Fabrizio Mancinelli) for Disney Legend Andreas Deja’s 2023 animated quick, Mushka. The tune, entitled “Mushka’s Lullabye,” was sung by acclaimed soprano Holly Sedillos.

In 2023, Walt Disney Animation Studios revisited its 100-year historical past within the quick movie As soon as Upon a Studio. Richard returned to Walt’s workplace—the identical place he and Robert would typically carry out “Feed the Birds” for Walt on Friday afternoons—to play piano in a key sequence.

Richard is survived by his spouse of 66 years, Elizabeth; son Gregory and grandsons William and Matthew; daughter Victoria Wolf, son-in-law Doug Wolf, and grandchildren Mandy and Anthony. He’s additionally survived by his daughter from a earlier marriage, Lynda Rothstein, in addition to her two youngsters and three grandchildren. A non-public funeral is scheduled to happen Friday, Could 31, at Hillside Memorial Park and Mortuary in Los Angeles. Plans for a celebration of life might be introduced at a later date.