Richard M. Sherman

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For other people named Richard Sherman, see Richard Sherman (disambiguation).
Richard M. Sherman
Richard M Sherman april 2014 retouched cropped.jpg
Sherman in 2014
Born Richard Morton Sherman
(1928-06-12) June 12, 1928 (age 88)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Nationality American
Other names Dick Sherman
Dick M. Sherman
Dick Morton Sherman
Richard Sherman
Education Beverly Hills High School
Alma mater Bard College
Occupation Composer, lyricist, screenwriter, publisher, music director
Years active 1950s–present
Website www.shermanmusic.com
Musical career
Genres Musical film, musical theatre, animation

Richard Morton Sherman (born June 12, 1928) is an American songwriter who specialized in musical films with his brother Robert B. Sherman. 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, The Aristocats and Charlotte's Web. Their most well known work is the theme park song "It's a Small World (After All)". According to Time, this song is the most performed song of all time.[1]

Early life[edit]

Richard Morton Sherman was born in New York City to Russian Jewish immigrants, Rosa (Dancis) and Al Sherman.[2] 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[edit]

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[edit]

In 1958 the Sherman Brothers had their first Top Ten hit with "Tall Paul", sung by Mouseketeer Annette Funicello. The success of this song got the attention of Walt Disney, who eventually hired the Sherman brothers as staff songwriters for Walt Disney Studios.

While at Disney, the Sherman Brothers wrote what may be their most successful song: "It's a Small World (After All)" for the 1964 New York World's Fair.

Their first song for Disney was "Medfield Fight Song" from the 1961 film "The Absent Minded Professor".

In 1965, the Sherman Brothers won two Academy Awards for the film Mary Poppins (1964), which includes the songs "Feed The Birds," "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious," and the Oscar winner, "Chim Chim Cher-ee." After Mary Poppins, the Sherman Brothers won nine Academy Award nominations, two Grammy Awards, four Grammy Award nominations and 23 gold and platinum albums.

The Shermans worked directly for Walt Disney until Disney's death in 1966. Since leaving the company, the brother songwriting team has worked freelance 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 wrote the screenplay.

The Slipper and the Rose was chosen as the Royal Command Performance of 1976 and was attended by Her Royal Highness, Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother. 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.

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 play, Over Here! (1974) was the highest-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. Other top-ten hits include "Pineapple Princess" and "Let's Get Together."

In 2000, the Sherman Brothers wrote the song score for Disney's film The Tigger Movie, marking the brothers' first work for a Disney major motion picture in over twenty eight years. In 2002, a stage version of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, featuring six new songs from the Sherman Brothers, premiered at the London Palladium. It is currently the longest-running in that theater's history. In 2005, the musical premiered on Broadway at the Hilton Theatre.

In 2003, four Sherman Brothers' musicals ranked in the "Top 10 Favorite Children's Films of All Time" in a nationwide poll, according to 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.

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, featuring the Sherman Brothers' songs. The show went on to successful runs in New York and Los Angeles.

Personal life[edit]

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[3] until Robert's death in 2012.

Achievements, honors, tributes[edit]

The Sherman Brothers receive the National Medal of Arts, the highest honor bestowed upon artists from the United States Government. (left to right Robert B. Sherman, Richard M. Sherman and U.S. President George W. Bush at The White House on November 17, 2008)

List of works[edit]

Major film scores[edit]

Motion picture screenplays[edit]

Stage musicals[edit]

The London Palladium in 2004

Theme park songs[edit]

Professional awards[edit]

Academy Awards[edit]

Annie Awards[edit]

Sherman in 2003 at the Annie Awards

BAFTA Awards[edit]

BMI[edit]

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

Christopher Award[edit]

Disney[edit]

Golden Globes[edit]

Golden Videocassette Award[edit]

Grammy Awards[edit]

Laurel Awards[edit]

Moscow Film Festival[edit]

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

National Medal of Arts[edit]

Olivier Awards[edit]

Songwriters Hall of Fame[edit]

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

Theatre Museum Award[edit]

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

Variety Club Awards[edit]

Walk of Fame[edit]

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

References[edit]

  1. ^ Richard Corliss. "What's the Most Played Song Ever? Disney's It's a Small World History". TIME.com. 
  2. ^ "Person Details for Richard Morton Sherman, "California, County Marriages, 1850-1952" — FamilySearch.org". 
  3. ^ "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. 
  4. ^ "D23.com | The Official Disney Fan Club". D23.disney.go.com. Retrieved 2014-07-04. 
  5. ^ "Press". The Theatre Museum. Retrieved 2014-07-04. 
  6. ^ "A Spoonful of Sherman – Review 13/01/14". Stagey Secrets. 
  7. ^ Carly Mallenbaum, USA TODAY (5 April 2016). "For new 'Jungle Book,' a classic tune got fresh lyrics". USA TODAY. 
  8. ^ IMDB.com
  9. ^ Garreau, Joel."Stan Lee, Olivia de Havilland Win Medal of Arts Honors",Washington Post, November 17, 2008

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]