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The Sherman Brothers are an Academy Award-winning Jewish American songwriting duo that specialize in musical films, made up of Robert B. Sherman (born December 19, 1925) and Richard M. Sherman (born June 12, 1928).

The Sherman Brothers wrote more motion-picture musical song scores than any other songwriting team in film history,[1] working for Walt Disney during the last six years of his life. Film scores of the Sherman Brothers include Mary Poppins, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The Jungle Book, and The Aristocats.

Life and work

Sons of Russian-Jewish immigrants, Robert and Richard Sherman began writing songs together in 1951 on a challenge from their father, Tin Pan Alley songwriter Al Sherman. The brothers wrote together and with different songwriting partners throughout the rest of the decade.

In 1958, Robert founded the music publishing company Music World Corporation, which later enjoyed a landmark relationship with Disney's BMI-affiliated publishing arm, Wonderland Music Company. That same year, the Sherman Brothers had their first top-ten hit with "Tall Paul," sung by Mouseketeer Judy Harriet on the Surf Records label and then covered by Mouseketeer 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. The first song they wrote on personal assignment by Walt Disney was "Strummin' Song" in 1961. It was used in the Annette Funicello made-for-television movie called The Horsemasters.

While at Disney, the Sherman Brothers wrote more motion-picture musical scores than any other songwriters in the history of film. They also wrote what is perhaps their best-known song, "It's a Small World (after all)" for the 1964 New York World's Fair. Since then, some have claimed that this has become the most translated and performed song on Earth, although this is largely due to the fact that it is played continuously at Disney's leisure park rides of the same name.[2]

In 1965, the Sherman Brothers won two Academy Awards for Mary Poppins, which includes the songs "Feed The Birds," "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious," and the Oscar-winning "Chim Chim Cher-ee." Since Mary Poppins' premiere, the Shermans have subsequently earned nine Academy Award nominations, two Grammy Awards, four Grammy Award nominations, and twenty-three gold- and platinum-certified albums.

Robert and Richard Sherman worked directly for Walt Disney, completing the scores for the live-action musical films The Happiest Millionaire and The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band until Disney's death in 1966. Since leaving the company, the brothers have 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 1970, the Shermans returned to Disney for a brief stint where they completed work on The Aristocats and Bedknobs and Broomsticks. The latter film garnered the brothers their fourth and fifth Oscar Nominations, respectively. 1972 saw the release of Snoopy Come Home, for which the brothers received a Grammy nomination.

In 1973, the Sherman Brothers also 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.

In 1976, The Slipper and the Rose was picked to be the Royal Command Performance of the year. The performance was attended by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother. A modern musical adaptation of the classic Cinderella story, Slipper, also featured songs, score, and screenplay by the Sherman Brothers. Two further Academy Award nominations were garnered by the brothers for the film. That same year the Sherman Brothers received their star on the Hollywood "Walk of Fame" directly across from Grauman's Chinese Theater.

Outside the motion-picture realm, their Tony Award-nominated smash hit Over Here! (1974) 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 reached Billboard's Hot 100 top 10 twice: first with Johnny Burnette in 1960 and then at #1 with Ringo Starr more than thirteen years later. Other top-ten hits include "Pineapple Princess," "Let's Get Together," and more.

In 2000, the Sherman Brothers wrote the song score for the Disney film The Tigger Movie. This film marked the brothers' first major motion picture for the Disney company in over twenty-eight years.

In 2002, Chitty hit the London stage, receiving rave reviews. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is currently the most successful stage show ever produced at the London Palladium, boasting the longest run in that century-old theater's history. On April 28, 2005, a second Chitty company premiered on Broadway (New York City) at the Hilton Theatre. The Sherman Brothers wrote an additional six songs specifically for the new stage productions. A successful third company of Chitty is currently touring throughout the United Kingdom.

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.

In recent years, with Robert's move to London, England, the brothers have written many new songs for the stage musical presentations of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Mary Poppins, produced collaboratively by Disney and Cameron Mackintosh.

The brothers were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame on June 9, 2005. On November 16, 2006, Mary Poppins premiered at the New Amsterdam Theatre on Broadway.

On November 17, 2008 the Sherman Brothers received the National Medal of Arts which is the highest honor conferred upon artists or patrons of the arts by the United States Government. The award was presented by United States President, George W. Bush in an East Room ceremony at The White House.

In May 2009, a documentary called The Boys: The Sherman Brothers' Story was released. In October 2009, Disney released a 59 track, two CD compendium of their work for the studio spanning forty-two years. The CD is entitled The Sherman Brothers Songbook.

Collaboration from afar

Since 2002, Robert Sherman has lived in London, England. He moved from Beverly Hills, while Richard Sherman remained in California. Surprisingly, however, the separation did not impede the brothers' collaborative process; they have credited this to the technological advents of fax machines, e-mail and low-cost international telephone service. Also, both brothers travel between Los Angeles, New York, and London frequently, which also facilitates their work. Since Robert's move, the brothers have continued to collaborate on various musical plays as well as a feature-length animated film musical that incorporates an original story, song score and screenplay[3].

Major scores

  • The Parent Trap, 1961
  • Adventures in Color
  • A Symposium on Popular Songs, 1962
  • In Search of the Castaways, 1962
  • Summer Magic, 1963
  • The Sword in the Stone, 1963
  • Big Red, 1963
  • Mary Poppins, 1964
  • The Happiest Millionaire, 1967
  • The Jungle Book, 1967
  • The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band, 1968
  • Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, 1968
  • The Aristocats, 1970
  • Bedknobs and Broomsticks, 1971
  • Snoopy, Come Home, 1972 (also performed songs "Me and You" and "Getting It Together" for the soundtrack)
  • Charlotte's Web, 1973
  • Tom Sawyer, 1973
  • Huckleberry Finn, 1974
  • The Slipper and the Rose, 1976
  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, 1977
  • The Magic of Lassie, 1978
  • Magic Journeys, 1982
  • Winnie the Pooh and a Day for Eeyore, 1983
  • Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland, 1992
  • The Mighty Kong, 1998
  • Winnie the Pooh: Seasons of Giving, 1999
  • The Tigger Movie, 2000
  • Inkas the Ramferinkas, 2010 (announced)

Motion picture screenplays

  • A Symposium on Popular Songs, 1962 (uncredited)
  • Mary Poppins, 1964 (*treatment only, uncredited)
  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, 1973
  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, 1974
  • The Slipper and the Rose, 1976
  • The Magic of Lassie, 1978
  • Ferdinand the Bull, 1986 (*TV screenplay)
  • Inkas the Ramferinkas, 2010 (announced)

Stage musicals

  • Victory Canteen, 1971 (Ivar Theatre, L.A.)
  • Over Here!, 1974 (Broadway, NY)
  • Dawgs, 1983 (Variety Arts Center, L.A.)
  • Busker Alley, 1995 (United States of AmericaU.S.]] Tour)
  • Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, 2002 (London)
  • Mary Poppins, 2004 (London)
  • On the Record 2004-5 (U.S. Tour)
  • Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, 2005 (Broadway, NY)
  • Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, 2005 (UK Tour)
  • Busker Alley, 2006 (Broadway, NY - *one night only)
  • Mary Poppins, 2006 (Broadway, NY)
  • Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, 2007 (Singapore)
  • Mary Poppins, 2008 (UK Tour)
  • Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, 2008 (Second UK Tour)
  • Mary Poppins, 2008 (Sweden)
  • Mary Poppins, 2009 (US Tour)
  • Mary Poppins, 2009 (Denmark)
  • Mary Poppins, 2009 (Hungary)
  • Mary Poppins, 2009 (China)
  • Mary Poppins, 2009 (Australia)
  • Mary Poppins, 2009 (South Africa)
  • Mary Poppins, 2009 (the Netherlands)
  • Mary Poppins, 2009 (Finland)

Professional awards

Academy Awards

  • 1979 Nominated Academy Award in the category of "Best Music, Original Song" for "When You're Loved" from The Magic of Lassie"
  • 1978 Nominated Academy Award in the category of "Best Music, Original Song" for "The Slipper and the Rose Waltz" from The Slipper and the Rose"
  • 1978 Nominated Academy Award in the category of "Best Music, Original Song Score & Its Adaptation Or Best Adaptation Score" for The Slipper and the Rose"
  • 1974 Nominated Academy Award in the category of "Best Music, Scoring Original Song Score And/Or Adaptation" for Tom Sawyer
  • 1972 Nominated Academy Award in the category of "Best Music, Original Song" for "The Age of Not Believing" from Bedknobs & Broomsticks
  • 1972 Nominated Academy Award in the category of "Best Music, Scoring Adaptation and Original Song Score" for Bedknobs & Broomsticks
  • 1969 Nominated Academy Award in the category of "Best Original Song" for "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
  • 1965 Won Academy Award in the category of "Best Original Song" for "Chim Chim Cher-ee" from Mary Poppins
  • 1965 Won Academy Award in the category of "Best Music, Score - Substantially Original" for Mary Poppins

Annie Awards

  • 2003 "Winsor McCay Award" for lifetime achievement and contribution to animation
  • 2000 Nominated Annie in the category of "Outstanding Individual Achievement for Music in an Animated Feature Production" for the song "Round My Family Tree" from The Tigger Movie

BAFTA Awards

  • 1977 Nominated "Anthony Asquith Award for Film Music" for The Slipper and the Rose

BMI

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

Christopher Award

  • 1973 "Christopher Award" for "Best Original Song Score" for Tom Sawyer
  • 1964 "Christopher Award" for "Best Original Song Score" for Mary Poppins

Disney

  • 1990 "Disney Legends" awarded at the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California.
  • 198 "Mousecar" awarded at the Hollywood Bowl in Hollywood, California in front of 20 thousand people.

Golden Globes

  • 1977 Nominated Golden Globe in the category of "Best Original Score" for The Slipper and the Rose
  • 1974 Nominated Golden Globe in the category of "Best Original Score" for Tom Sawyer
  • 1969 Nominated Golden Globe in the category of "Best Original Score" for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
  • 1969 Nominated Golden Globe in the category of "Best Original Song" for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
  • 1965 Nominated Golden Globe in the category of "Best Original Score" for Mary Poppins

Golden Videocassette Award

  • 1984 Best Selling Video Cassette (of all time) for Mary Poppins

Grammy Awards

  • 1974 Nominated Grammy in the category of "Best Original Score for a Musical Show" for Over Here!
  • 1972 Nominated Grammy in the category of "Best Original Score for a Children's Show" for Snoopy Come Home
  • 1965 Won Grammy in the category of "Best Original Score for a Motion Picture or Television Show" for Mary Poppins

Laurel Awards

  • 1966 3rd place "Golden Laurel" in the category of "Best Song" "That Darn Cat!" for That Darn Cat!
  • 1965 Won "Golden Laurel" in the category of "Best Song" "Chim Chim Cher-ee" for Mary Poppins
  • 1965 2nd Place "Golden Laurel" in the category of Music Men"

Moscow Film Festival

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

National Medal of Arts

  • 2008 National Medal of Arts awarded to Richard and Robert Sherman on November 17, 2008 at the White House by President George W. Bush. This is the highest honor the United States Government bestows on artists.[4]

Olivier Awards

  • 2002 Nominated "Best Musical" for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

Songwriters Hall of Fame

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

Variety Club Awards

  • 2003 Won "Best Musical" for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

Walk of Fame

To "Richard & Robert Sherman" awarded on November 17, 1976, located at 6914 Hollywood Blvd.

References

  1. London Today on air interview with Robert B. Sherman, April 17, 2002
  2. "It's A Small World by Disneyland Chorus". http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?id=4691. Retrieved 2008-05-19. 
  3. Playbill News: Sherman Brothers Working on New Musical Merry-Go-Round
  4. Garreau, Joel."Stan Lee, Olivia de Havilland Win Medal of Arts Honors",Washington Post, November 17, 2008

Further reading

  • Greene, Katherine; and Richard Greene (2001). Inside the Dream: The Personal Story of Walt Disney. New York: Disney Editions. ISBN 0-7868-5350-6. 
  • Peterson, Monique (2002). The Little Big Book of Pooh. New York: Disney Editions. ISBN 0-7868-5364-6. 
  • Sherman, Robert B. (1998). Walt's Time: from before to beyond. Santa Clarita, Calif.: Camphor Tree. ISBN 0-9646059-3-7. 
  • Tietyen, David (1990). The Musical World of Walt Disney. Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Hal Leonard Publishing Corporation. ISBN 0-88188-476-6. 

External links

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This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at Sherman Brothers. The list of authors can be seen in the page history.

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