Meet the Boys behind Disney’s music.
Many people might not know who these two legends are, but the Sherman brothers were Academy award and Grammy award winning songwriters who were very essential to the creation of some of Walt Disney’s most beloved classic films.
Robert B. Sherman and Richard M. Sherman were one of the greatest songwriting duos of all time. They were great at writing music and songs that could get stuck in your head for weeks, even years. Have you ever heard any catchy classic Disney tunes that you couldn’t get out of your head? Well the odds are, they probably wrote it – but no, they did not write “Let It Go”.
Just like some film directors today have their set musicians and composers to score their films, Walt Disney always knew he wanted the two brothers to compose the music for his pictures. They wrote the music to many of Disney’s most popular films such as The Jungle Book, Mary Poppins, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, The Many Adventures of Winnie The Pooh, The Parent Trap, The Happiest Millionaire, and more.
Walt loved the two so much that he also had them write the music for some of the attractions at his world famous amusement park, Disneyland. Their music can still be heard today on the attractions at the different Disney Parks around the world. These songs include “It’s a Small World”, “There’s a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow”, “Miracles from Molecules”, “Makin’ Memories”, “Winnie The Pooh”, and of course the music from Walt Disney’s Mary Poppins.
Though The Sherman Brothers seemed to be close, they didn’t always get along. After Walt’s passing, the two brothers grew apart, coming to the realization that they both had two very different minds. Richard was very focused and devoted to songwriting while Robert wanted more in life.
They had many obvious differences. Richard Sherman said himself that if he and his brother could be described individually by any two of their songs, his would be “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” and Robert’s would be “Feed The Birds”.
Sadly, the brothers went through a phase for 50 years where they didn’t speak to each other at all unless they were required to come together in public for a specific reason. If that was the case, they acted as though they were complete strangers meeting for the very first time.
Richard Sherman said that they “perpetrated a façade”. Not even their families socialized. Their relationship was broken. Robert Sherman’s son, Jeffrey Sherman, had once said, “in life, not everything turns out like a Sherman brothers musical.”
Unfortunately, before this rivalry was resolved, Robert B. Sherman passed away at age 86 in 2012. Of course, Richard Sherman was saddened by this and today when he talks about his brother, he talks about the good times they had together and their incredible accomplishments rather than the bad times they shared.
Richard Sherman at age 87 continues to write music today here and there, and if you happened to make it to Disneyland for their 60th Anniversary Diamond Celebration, a song he recently wrote called “A Kiss Goodnight” can be heard every night after the nightly fireworks show, Disneyland Forever.
Disney fans or not, everyone knows songs by the Sherman brothers. Their music has inspired the lives of many over the years and has been a big part of every childhood. The music of the Sherman brothers still continues to get stuck in the heads of people today, and it is no doubt that their legendary work will live on forever.
* * *
You can learn more about the Sherman Brothers by watching the fantastic documentary called “The Boys: The Sherman Brothers Story” from our friends at Amazon by clicking HERE.