For other people named Richard Sherman, see Richard Sherman (disambiguation).

Richard Morton Sherman (born June 12, 1928) is an American songwriter who specialized in musical films with his brother Robert Bernard Sherman. According to the official Walt Disney Company website and independent fact checkers, "the Sherman Brothers were responsible for more motion picture musical song scores than any other songwriting team in film history."[1] Some of the Sherman Brothers' best known songs were incorporated into live action and animation musical films including: Mary Poppins, The Jungle Book, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The Slipper and the Rose, and Charlotte's Web. Their most well known work, however, remains the theme park song "It's a Small World (After All)". According to Time.com, this song is the most performed song of all time.[2][3]

Early life

Richard Morton Sherman was born in New York City to Russian Jewish immigrants, Rosa (Dancis) and Al Sherman.[4] Together with his older brother Robert, "The Sherman Brothers" eventually followed in their songwriting father's footsteps to form a long-lasting songwriting partnership.

Following seven years of frequent cross-country moves, the Sherman family finally settled down in Beverly Hills, California in 1937. During Richard's years at Beverly Hills High School, he became fascinated with music and studied several instruments, including the flute, piccolo, and piano.

At his 1946 graduation from Beverly Hills High School, Sherman and classmate André Previn played a musical duet with Previn on piano and Sherman on flute. Coincidentally, in 1965 both composers won Oscars in music categories for different films.

Army service and education

In 1953 Sherman was drafted into United States Army, being assigned to the Army Band and glee club. Serving as musical conductor for both groups from 1953 until his honorable discharge in 1955, he was stationed solely in the United States during his time in the service. During this time, his brother Robert worked with other songwriters.

As a student at Bard College, Sherman majored in music, writing numerous sonatas and "art songs". His ambition to write the "great american symphony" eventually led him to write songs. Within two years of graduating, Sherman and his brother began writing songs together, answering a challenge from their father.

Career

Within two years, Sherman and his brother Robert began writing songs together on a challenge from their father, Al Sherman, a successful popular songwriter in the "Tin Pan Alley" days ("No! No! A Thousand Times No!!", "You Gotta Be a Football Hero").[5]

In 1958, Sherman founded the music publishing company, Music World Corporation, which later worked with Disney's BMI publishing arm, Wonderland Music Company.[6] That same year, the Sherman Brothers had their first Top Ten hit with "Tall Paul", which was sung by Annette Funicello. The success of this song yielded the attention of Walt Disney who eventually hired the Sherman Brothers as Staff Songwriters for Walt Disney Studios.[7] While at Disney, the Sherman Brothers wrote what is perhaps their most recognized song: "It's a Small World (After All)" for the 1964 New York World's Fair.

In 1965, the Sherman Brothers won 2 Academy Awards for Mary Poppins – Best Original Score, which included "Feed The Birds", "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious"; and Best Original Song, "Chim Chim Cher-ee".[8] Since Mary Poppins' premiere, Robert B. Sherman subsequently earned 9 Academy Award nominations, 2 Grammy Awards, 4 Grammy Award nominations and 23 gold and platinum albums.[9]

Robert and Richard Sherman worked directly for Walt Disney until Disney's death in 1966. After leaving the company, the brothers worked freelance as songwriters on scores of motion pictures, television shows, theme park exhibits and stage musicals.

Their first non-Disney assignment came with Albert R. Broccoli's motion picture production Chitty Chitty Bang Bang in 1968 which garnered the brothers their third Academy Award Nomination. In 1973, the Sherman Brothers made history by becoming the only Americans ever to win First Prize at the Moscow Film Festival for Tom Sawyer for which they also authored the screenplay.[9]

The Slipper and the Rose was picked to be the Royal Command Performance of the year and was attended by Queen Elizabeth. A modern musical adaptation of the classic Cinderella story, Slipper also features both song-score and screenplay by the Sherman Brothers. That same year the Sherman Brothers received their star on the Hollywood "Walk of Fame" directly across from Grauman's Chinese Theater.[10]

Their numerous other Disney and Non-Disney top box office film credits include The Jungle Book (1967), The Aristocats (1970), The Parent Trap (1961), The Parent Trap (1998), Charlotte's Web (1973), The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1977), Snoopy, Come Home (1972), Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971) and Little Nemo: Adventures In Slumberland (1992).

Outside the motion picture realm, their Tony-nominated Over Here! (1974)[11] was the biggest-grossing original Broadway Musical of that year. The Sherman Brothers have also written numerous top selling songs including "You're Sixteen", which holds the distinction of reaching Billboard's Top Ten twice; first with Johnny Burnette in 1960 and then with Ringo Starr fourteen years later.[12] Other top-ten hits include, "Pineapple Princess", "Let's Get Together" and more.

In 2000, the Sherman Brothers wrote the song score for Disney's blockbuster film: The Tigger Movie (2000). This film marked the brothers' first major motion picture for the Disney company in over twenty eight years.[13]

In 2002 the stage musical Chitty Chitty Bang Bang premiered in London. It was the most successful stage show ever produced at the London Palladium, boasting the longest run in that century-old theatre's history. In early 2005 a second Chitty company premiered on Broadway (New York City) at the Foxwoods Theatre (then the Hilton Theatre). The Sherman Brothers wrote an additional six songs specifically for the new stage productions.[14]

In 2003, four Sherman Brothers' musicals ranked in the "Top 10 Favorite Children's Films of All Time" in a (British) nationwide poll reported by the BBC. The Jungle Book (1967)_ranked at #7, Mary Poppins (1964) ranked at #8, The Aristocats (1970) ranked at #9 and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968) topped the list at #1.[15]

A new Disney and Cameron Mackintosh production of Mary Poppins: The Stage Musical made its world premiere at the Prince Edward Theatre in December 2004 and features the Sherman Brothers classic songs.[16]

In June 2005, Richard M. Sherman was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame with his brother. Chitty opened on Broadway in 2005 and commenced its first full UK tour in December 2005 with subsequent tours and/or tour dates in each year since. Mary Poppins opened on Broadway in 2006.[17]

In 2008 Mary Poppins embarked on a UK tour as well as a world tour beginning in Göteborg, Sweden. Chitty embarked on a tour of 29 cities in the U.S. which ended in 2009.

Personal life

Following Robert Sherman's relocation from Beverly Hills to London, England, the brothers continued to collaborate musically. They credited the ability to do so long-distance to technology via fax, e-mail, and the low cost international telephone service. Both brothers frequently traveled between Los Angeles, New York, and London working together on various musical plays[18] until Robert's death in 2012.

Achievements, honors, tributes

The Sherman Brothers receive the National Medal of Arts at The White House on November 17, 2008, (left to right: Robert B. Sherman, Richard M. Sherman and U.S. President George W. Bush)[19]

List of works

Major film scores

Motion picture screenplays

Stage musicals

The London Palladium in 2004

Theme park songs

Professional awards

Academy Awards

Annie Awards

Sherman in 2003 at the Annie Awards

BAFTA Awards

BMI

  • 1977 "Pioneer Award" awarded in Los Angeles, California.
  • 1991 "Lifetime Achievement Award" awarded at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Los Angeles, California.

Christopher Award

Disney

Golden Globes

Golden Videocassette Award

Grammy Awards

Laurel Awards

Moscow Film Festival

  • 1973 First Place Award in the category of "Best Music" for Tom Sawyer

National Medal of Arts

Olivier Awards

Songwriters Hall of Fame

  • 2005 induction at the Marriott Hotel on Times Square in New York City.

Theatre Museum Award

  • 2010 Career Achievement Award presented on May 17, 2010 at The Players Club in New York City.

Variety Club Awards

Walk of Fame

  • 1976 A Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame awarded to "Richard & Robert Sherman" on November 17, 1976, located at 6914 Hollywood Blvd.

References

  1. ^ DeMichele, Thomas (March 4, 2016). "The Sherman Brothers Wrote More Film Scores Than Any Songwriting Team: FACT". factmyth.com. 
  2. ^ Corliss, Richard (April 30, 2014). "Is This the Most Played Song in Music History?". time.com.  CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  3. ^ Kubersky, Seth (January 7, 2014). "Fact-Checking Saving Mr. Banks with Disney Historian Jim Korkis". orlandoweekly.com.  CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  4. ^ "Person Details for Richard Morton Sherman, "California, County Marriages, 1850-1952" — FamilySearch.org". 
  5. ^ Sherman, Robert B. "Al's Time" in Walt's Time: From Before To Beyond. Santa Clarita, CA: Camphor Tree Publishers, 1998, pg. 119.
  6. ^ Sherman, Robert B., "'Green Lights On Dopey Drive" in Moose: Chapters From My Life, p. 367
  7. ^ Hutchinson, Lydia (August 29, 2014). "The Sherman Brothers". Performing Songwriter. 
  8. ^ "Mary Poppins – Soundtrack". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved March 31, 2016. 
  9. ^ a b "The Society of Composers & Lyricists". Ambassador Program. 
  10. ^ "Clients". stellarichards.com. February 11, 2011. 
  11. ^ "Richard M. Sherman – Profile". Internet Broadway Database. Retrieved March 31, 2016. 
  12. ^ DeRiso, Nick (July 7, 2015). "Ringo Starr's 10 Most Historic Moments". Ultimate Classic Rock. 
  13. ^ TV Ropes: The Sherman Brothers, TVropes.org.
  14. ^ Leitch, Luke (May 17, 2005). "Chitty Chitty Bye Bye". The Standard. 
  15. ^ "New Release: The Slipper and the Rose". davidspicer.com.au. February 9, 2009. 
  16. ^ Billington, Michael (November 16, 2006). "Mary Poppins". The Guardian. 
  17. ^ "Mary Poppins". playbill.com. November 16, 2006. 
  18. ^ "Sherman Brothers Working on New Musical Merry-Go-Round". Playbill.com. 2005-08-29. Archived from the original on 2009-02-09. Retrieved 2014-07-04. 
  19. ^ a b "National Medal of Arts 2008". arts.gov. Retrieved December 1, 2008. 
  20. ^ Admin (June 1, 2015). "Olivier Winners 2003". olivierawards.com. 
  21. ^ Desk (January 2, 2004). "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang". Evening Standard. 
  22. ^ Fox, Mark (January 1, 2016). "London Palladium History". reallyusefultheatres.co.uk. 
  23. ^ Songwriters Hall of Fame: Richard M. Sherman, Hall of Fame website.
  24. ^ Gans, Andrew (March 3, 2013). "Broadway's Mary Poppins Flies Out Of New Amsterdam Theatre March 3". playbill.com. 
  25. ^ A Chat with The Aristocats composer, Richard Sherman of the Sherman Brothers - DVD
  26. ^ Admin (April 27, 2015). "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang 2005–2010 Tour Dates". thisistheatre.com. 
  27. ^ Smith, Alistair (October 12, 2007). "Mary Poppins to Launch Tour from Theatre Royal, Plymouth". thestage.co.uk. 
  28. ^ Admin (September 15, 2009). "The Sherman Brothers Songbook". allmusic.com. 
  29. ^ BWW News Desk (April 5, 2010). "The Theatre Museum Awards Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman, Held 5/10". broadwayworld.com. 
  30. ^ Sherman, "My Time (part 4)" in Moose: Chapters From My Life, p. 349
  31. ^ "A Spoonful of Sherman – Review 13/01/14". Stagey Secrets. 
  32. ^ Carly Mallenbaum, USA TODAY (5 April 2016). "For new 'Jungle Book,' a classic tune got fresh lyrics". USA TODAY. 
  33. ^ IMDB.com
  34. ^ Garreau, Joel."Stan Lee, Olivia de Havilland Win Medal of Arts Honors",Washington Post, November 17, 2008

Bibliography

External links