Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Robert Sherman, 1925-2012

I'll admit that I'd never heard of Robert Sherman, who died yesterday at the age of 86. But then, I think almost all of us have heard his songs. Robert, together with his brother Richard, were hired by Walt Disney to be on the staff of songwriters at the Disney studios aroiund 1960 and would go on to write music for some of the more memorable Disney movies of the next few decades. The Sherman brothers won a pair of Oscars in 1965 for the film Mary Poppins: one for the score, and one for the song "Chim Chim Cheree".

That wasn't Sherman's only work in movies, however; Sherman also wrote a number of screenplays, most notably for Tom Sawyer in 1973. Granted, the Shermans also wrote the music for that version.

And then there are the songs that aren't for movies. I wouldn't have figured that the same person who wrote those songs for Mary Poppins would also have written something like You're Sixteen. On the other hand, something like "It's a Small World", the monstrously irritating song that features on the Disney ride of the same name is something that would fit in more with the same man who wrote the Mary Poppins music.

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