Remembering The "Practically Perfect" Richard M. Sherman

Remembering The "Practically Perfect" Richard M. Sherman

A songwriter with a magical gift, Academy Award and Grammy-winning MTI author Richard M. Sherman passed away last week. With his older brother Robert B. Sherman, he composed songs for numerous family favorites including Mary Poppins, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The Aristocats, The Jungle Book, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, The Sword in the Stone, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, and the 1973 animated film adaptation of Charlotte's Web. For many of us, the Sherman brothers' music played an essential part in the soundtrack of our childhoods.

"Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious", "I Wan'na Be Like You", "Let's Get Together" from the 1961 film The Parent Trap, and the iconic Disney theme park song "It's a Small World (After All)" are just a few among their notable works.

Richard M. Sherman was in born in New York City in 1928. His father, Al Sherman, a Tin Pan Alley songwriter himself, challenged Richard and Robert to work together, waging a bet that they couldn't come up with a hit together. Their first chart-breaking hit would be the 1959 single "Tall Paul", landing at #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The following year, their song "You're Sixteen", performed by Johnny Burnette, reached #8, as did "Let's Get Together" the year after.

In 1965, the Sherman brothers won two Academy Awards for their career-defining work in Mary Poppins: Best Original Score and Best Song for "Chim Chim Cher-ee". They were nominated for Best Song again in 1969, for the title song in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Both Mary Poppins and Chitty Chitty Bang Bangwould enjoy great success both on the West End and Broadway decades later.

The Sherman brothers won the Grammy Award for Best Album for Children in 1975 for the film Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too.

Richard and Robert finally made their Broadway debuts on March 4, 1974 with Over Here!, which starred the famed Andrew Sisters and featured future stars John Travolta, Ann Reinking, Marilu Henner, and Treat Williams in the cast. Nominated for five Tony Awards, the show closed on January 4, 1975.

Robert B. Sherman passed away in 2012.

The Walt Disney Company stated : "Generations of moviegoers and theme park guests have been introduced to the world of Disney through the Sherman brothers' magnificent and timeless songs. Even today, the duo's work remains the quintessential lyrical voice of Walt Disney."

We will always be thankful to Richard and Robert Sherman for giving us songs that inspired joy, awe, and wonder.