Robert Bernard Sherman (December 19, 1925 – March 6, 2012) was an American songwriter who specialized in musical films with his brother Richard Morton 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." Some of the Sherman Brothers' best known songs were incorporated into live action and animation musical films including: Mary Poppins, The Happiest Millionaire, The Jungle Book, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The Slipper and the Rose, and Charlotte's Web. Their best-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.
Robert B. Sherman
Sherman in 2002
Robert Bernard Sherman
December 19, 1925
New York, U.S.
|Died||March 6, 2012 (aged 86)|
|Resting place||Hillside Memorial Park Cemetery, Culver City, California|
|Other names||Bob Sherman|
|Occupation||Songwriter, screenwriter, publisher|
Joyce Ruth Sasner(her death)
(m. 1953; died 2001)
|Children||4 including Robert|
Rosa (Dancis) Sherman
|Relatives||Richard M. Sherman (brother)|
Robert Bernard Sherman was born on December 19, 1925, in New York City, to Russian Jewish immigrants, Rosa (Dancis) and Al Sherman. Al Sherman, a songwriter, paid for Robert's hospital delivery costs with a royalty check that had arrived that day for the song "Save Your Sorrow". His brother and later songwriting partner, Richard, was born in 1928. Sherman's father later became a well known Tin Pan Alley songwriter.
As a youth, Robert Sherman excelled in intellectual pursuits, taking up the violin and piano, painting and writing poetry. Following seven years of frequent cross-country moves, the Shermans finally settled down in Beverly Hills, California. Some of the primary schools Robert attended in Manhattan included PS 241 and the Ethical Culture Fieldston School; in California, the El Rodeo School. Throughout his years at Beverly Hills High School, he wrote and produced radio and stage programs for which he won much acclaim. At age 16, he wrote Armistice and Dedication Day, a stage play centered on contemporary 1940s Americans that showed how their lives were inextricably changed following the December 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor. The play yielded thousands of dollars for War Bonds and earned a special citation from the War Department.
In 1943, Sherman obtained permission from his parents to join the army a year early, at age 17. On April 12, 1945, Sherman was shot in the knee, forcing him to walk with a cane for the rest of his life.
For being wounded during battle, Sherman was awarded the Purple Heart medal. Other medals received by Sherman for service to his country were the Combat Infantryman Badge, two Battle Stars for his European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, an American Campaign Medal, a World War II Victory Medal, and a Good Conduct Medal. In addition, Sherman was also awarded several Army Weapons Qualifications badges . While recuperating from his knee injury in Taunton and Bournemouth in England, Sherman first became curious about British culture, reading anything he could find on the subject. Once back on his feet, Sherman met and became friends with many British citizens, attaining first-hand knowledge of the United Kingdom, its customs and people.
Years later, Sherman credited this time in his life as the origin of his fascination with England, believing that it proved an invaluable resource to his songwriting career. Many of his best-known works center around English stories, authors and subject matter.
During World War II Robert B. Sherman received these awards:
|Combat Infantry Badge|
|Purple Heart||Good Conduct Medal|
|American Campaign Medal||European-African-Middle Eastern
with two stars
|World War II Victory Medal|
On his return to the United States, Sherman attended Bard College in upstate New York where he majored in English Literature and painting. Sherman also served as the editor-in-chief of The Bardian which is the campus newspaper. At Bard, Sherman completed his first two novels, The Best Estate and Music, Candy and Painted Eggs. He graduated in the class of 1949. On May 12, 1990, Sherman received an honorary doctorate from Lincoln College.
Within two years, Sherman and his brother Richard 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").
In 1958, Sherman founded the music publishing company, Music World Corporation, which later worked with Disney's BMI publishing arm, Wonderland Music Company. 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 attracted 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 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 two Academy Awards for Mary Poppins – Best Original Score, which included "Feed The Birds", "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious"; and Best Original Song, "Chim Chim Cher-ee". 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.
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.
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.
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) 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. 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 28 years.
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.
In 2002, Sherman moved from Beverly Hills to London, England, where he continued to write and paint. 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.
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.
In June 2005, Robert B. Sherman was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame with his brother. Also in June 2005, a tribute was paid to Robert B. Sherman at the Théâtre de Vevey in Vevey, Switzerland by the Ballet Romand. 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.
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.
Sherman married Joyce Ruth Sasner in 1953. Their marriage moderated what had become Sherman's bohemian lifestyle in the years following the war. Their first child, Laurie, was born in 1955, followed by Jeffrey in 1957, Andrea in 1960 and later, Robert in 1968. The Shermans would have five grandchildren. 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 2002, Sherman moved from Beverly Hills to London, England; his brother, Richard, remained in California. The geographical separation, however, did not impede their collaborative process. They credited this to the availability of technology in the way fax machines, email and low-cost international telephone service. Also, both brothers travelled between Los Angeles, New York and London frequently which also facilitated their work. After Sherman's relocation, he and his brother continued to collaborate on various musical plays as well as a feature, animated, film musical which incorporates their original story, song score and screenplay.
Robert Sherman died in London on March 6, 2012. His wife Joyce Sherman, preceded him in death by eleven years in 2001. A public memorial service and funeral was held for Sherman on March 9, 2012, at Hillside Memorial Park and Mortuary in Culver City.
A lesser known aspect of Sherman's life was his painting which he had done since 1941 and kept private (except from his family and close friends) until 2002. Sherman studied painting while attending Bard College, receiving a double degree in both Painting and English Literature. Sherman has worked in various visual arts media, including clay and metal sculpture, but his main focus was oil painting throughout the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s until he switched to acrylics in the mid-1960s, and stuck to that medium.
In April 2002, an exhibition of Sherman's paintings was held in London, England, at Thompsons' Gallery on Marylebone High Street. This marked the first public exhibition of his paintings since he started painting in 1941. Sherman subsequently exhibited his paintings in Florida and California. A series of Limited Edition Giclées of Sherman's art were also published at this time on both canvas and paper.
Sherman's paintings which have appeared at the various exhibitions include: "On Route 9G" (c. 1949), "Self Portrait" (1970), "San Francisco (1970)", "Moses" (1977), "Carousel In The Country" (1982), "From the Dining Room (1982)", "Sacrifice" (1983), "Florid Window" (1984), "Geisha (1986)", "Fine Four Fendered Friend (2002)" and "Park Lane" (2003). On March 4, 2007, Sherman and his younger son, Robbie, donated limited edition prints of "Moses" and "Sacrifice" to the Giffnock Synagogue in Glasgow, Scotland. Sherman also worked in metal sculpture, wrote poetry and short stories from an early age.
In 2005, Robert Sherman established an annual scholarship award in his name through the BMI Foundation. The awardee is chosen by BMI's Lehman Engel program with some consultation with Sherman. The first awardee was announced in November 2006. Awardees are chosen for their excellence in musical comedy songwriting with an emphasis on lyric writing. Following is a list of the annual winners since the award's inception:
Robert J Sherman, son of Robert B. Sherman and a successful composer in his own right brings the utterly compelling story of one family’s century-long, award-winning musical journey to UK audiences in 2018.
The whole show is filled with whimsy, magic and some of the most memorable songs ever written; it does the Sherman family proud. I can’t remember when I spent a more joyful or moving evening at the theatre.
A Spoonful of Sherman is a musical revue which premiered on January 6, 2014 at the St. James Theatre in London and which is currently poised for its first UK/Ireland tour. Originally produced, written and emceed by Robert J. Sherman, A Spoonful of Sherman first served as the UK book launch for Sherman's father's (posthumously released) autobiography: Moose: Chapters From My Life for which Sherman was also the book's editor. After each performance of that original run, Sherman participated in a book signing after the show. The show was billed as "A Celebration of the Life, Times and Songs of Robert B. Sherman" and was received extremely well by the crowd and the critics alike. The cast consisted of four rising West End theatre stars including Charlotte Wakefield, Emma Williams, Stuart Matthew Price and Greg Castiglioni. Musical Direction was provided by Colin Billing and the show was directed by Stewart Nicholls. Lighting was designed by the show's Stage Manager Andrew Holton. In the 2017 version of the show, focus of the show's narrative shifted to both Sherman Brothers' lives as well as to the life of their father, Al Sherman.BMI Foundation
The BMI Foundation, Inc. is a non-profit organization founded in 1985 by executives of Broadcast Music Incorporated for the purpose of "encouraging the creation, performance and study of music through awards, scholarships, internships, grants, and commissions." Additionally, the Foundation makes grants annually to other not-for-profit musical organizations. The organization is currently headed by Deirdre Chadwick who serves as the President and an elected Board of Directors.
Awards programs include:
BMI Student Composer Awards for Classical Compositions
Peermusic Latin Scholarships
Carlos Surinach Awards and Commissions
Woody Guthrie Fellowships
Women's Music Commission
John Lennon Scholarships
Milton Adolphus award
Charlie Parker Jazz Composition Prize
Jerry Harrington Musical Theater Award
Jerry Bock Musical Theater Award
Robert B. Sherman Scholarship
David N. Baker Jazz Composition Scholarship, Indiana University Jacobs School of MusicHuckleberry Finn (1974 film)
Huckleberry Finn is a 1974 musical film version of Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
The movie was produced by Reader's Digest and Arthur P. Jacobs (known for his role in the production of the Planet of the Apes films) and directed by J. Lee Thompson. It stars Jeff East as Huckleberry Finn and Paul Winfield as Jim. The film contains original music and songs, such as "Freedom" and "Cairo, Illinois", by the Sherman Brothers: Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman.
This film followed the previous year's highly successful Tom Sawyer, based on Twain's novel The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, also produced and written by the same team and starring East in the role of Huckleberry Finn.Let's Go Fly a Kite
"Let's Go Fly a Kite" is a song from Walt Disney's film Mary Poppins, composed by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman. This song is heard at the end of the film when George Banks (played by David Tomlinson), realizes that his family is more important than his job. He mends his son's kite and takes his family on a kite-flying outing. The song is sung by Tomlinson, Dick Van Dyke and eventually the entire chorus.
In keeping with Mr. Banks's change in character, this song was pre-recorded, and thus sung normally, by Tomlinson, rather than in his previous talk-singing in the Rex Harrison style, seen earlier in "The Life I Lead." This musical number also appears in the Sing Along Songs series of Disney videos.Mary Poppins (film)
Mary Poppins is a 1964 American musical fantasy film directed by Robert Stevenson and produced by Walt Disney, with songs written and composed by the Sherman Brothers. The screenplay is by Bill Walsh and Don DaGradi, based on P. L. Travers's book series Mary Poppins. The film, which combines live-action and animation, stars Julie Andrews in her feature film debut as Mary Poppins, who visits a dysfunctional family in London and employs her unique brand of lifestyle to improve the family's dynamic. Dick Van Dyke, David Tomlinson, and Glynis Johns are featured in supporting roles. The film was shot entirely at the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California using painted London background scenes.Mary Poppins was released on August 27, 1964, to critical acclaim. It received a total of 13 Academy Awards nominations, including Best Picture – a record for any other film released by Walt Disney Studios – and won five: Best Actress for Andrews, Best Film Editing, Best Original Music Score, Best Visual Effects, and Best Original Song for "Chim Chim Cher-ee". In 2013, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant". Mary Poppins is considered Walt Disney's crowning live-action achievement, and is the only one of his films which earned a Best Picture nomination during his lifetime.A sequel, Mary Poppins Returns, was released in 2018.Mary Poppins (soundtrack)
Mary Poppins: Original Cast Soundtrack is the soundtrack album of the 1964 film Mary Poppins, with music and lyrics written by songwriters Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman, and adapted and conducted by Irwin Kostal.
The original 1964 album release features seventeen tracks, consisting of sixteen songs and one overture track of film score. The soundtrack album was released by Buena Vista Records the same year as the film on LP and reel-to-reel tape. Due to time constraints, some songs were edited (such as "Step in Time", "Jolly Holiday", and "A Spoonful of Sugar"), while songs also featured introductory passages ("Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious") or completed endings ("Sister Suffragette", "Fidelity Fiduciary Bank", "A Man Has Dreams"). The film's music received critical acclaim, winning two Academy Awards for Best Original Score and Best Original Song (for "Chim Chim Cher-ee") and two Grammy Awards for Best Original Score Written for a Motion Picture and Best Recording for Children.Walt Disney Records reissued the soundtrack in 1997, including a 16-minute track of unreleased songs and demo versions. In 2004, as part of the film's 40th anniversary (also called Special Edition), a 28-track disc (as part of a two-disc set) was released. In 2014 (the 50th anniversary of the film's release), the soundtrack was released in a 3-CD edition as part of the Walt Disney Records The Legacy Collection series; this edition includes the complete soundtrack in its entirety, as well as demos of many "lost" tracks.Music World Corporation
Music World Corporation is an American music production and music publishing company, representing hundreds of song and music cue titles for a small clientele of composers and lyricists including the company founder. The company was founded in 1958 by Academy Award-winning songwriter Robert B. Sherman.
The company is based in Beverly Hills, California and is affiliated with the performance rights organization BMI.Richard M. Sherman
Richard Morton Sherman (born June 12, 1928) is an American songwriter who specialized in musical films with his brother Robert B. 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."Some of the Sherman Brothers' best known songs were incorporated into live action and animation musical films including: Mary Poppins, The Happiest Millionaire, The Jungle Book, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Snoopy Come Home, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, 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.River Song
"River Song" may refer to:
"River Song" (Dennis Wilson song), the opening track of Dennis Wilson's 1977 album Pacific Ocean Blue
River Song (Doctor Who), a recurring character in the Doctor Who TV programme
"River Song" (Sherman), a 1973 song from the movie Tom Sawyer composed by Robert B. Sherman and Richard M. Sherman
River Songs, the third full-length studio album by American band The Badlees
River Song: A Novel by Craig LesleySherman Brothers
The Sherman Brothers were an American songwriting duo that specialized in musical films, made up of Robert B. Sherman (December 19, 1925 – March 6, 2012) 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. Film scores of the Sherman Brothers include Mary Poppins, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The Jungle Book (except “The Bare Necessities”), Bedknobs and Broomsticks, The Happiest Millionaire, Charlotte's Web and The Aristocats. 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.Sister Suffragette
"Sister Suffragette" is a pro-suffrage protest song pastiche sung by actress Glynis Johns while playing Mrs. Winifred Banks in the 1964 Disney film Mary Poppins. The song's melody was originally from a scrapped piece called "Practically Perfect", and both that song and "Sister Suffragette" were written and composed by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman.
The lyrics mention Emmeline Pankhurst, who with her daughters Christabel and Sylvia founded the Women's Social and Political Union in Manchester, England. Some of the words are: "Our daughters' daughters will adore us, and they'll sing in grateful chorus, well done, Sister Suffragette!"The Adventures of Bullwhip Griffin
The Adventures of Bullwhip Griffin is a 1967 American Western comedy film directed by James Neilson. The film is based on the novel By the Great Horn Spoon! by Sid Fleischman, and stars Roddy McDowall, Suzanne Pleshette and Karl Malden. The songs were written by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman.The Life I Lead
"The Life I Lead" is a song from the 1964 Walt Disney film Mary Poppins, composed by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman. Music arranger Irwin Kostal used the theme from this song as the leitmotif of the protagonist George Banks, as it most expresses the way he "marches" through life.
The song is first sung as George Banks (played by David Tomlinson) marches through the front door of his home, on "[his] return from daily strife to hearth and wife". The song is reprised several times throughout the film, with Julie Andrews also singing a verse. The final reprise is sung when Banks thinks he has lost everything. The music is now more somber and is retitled, "A Man Has Dreams".
Some lyrics of the song say:Lyricist Robert B. Sherman was making an inside comment about his own life. Having just secured a position with the Walt Disney Company, he also purchased a home in Beverly Hills, California. The house is located at 601 North Oakhurst Drive. In the lyric, 6:01 is a reference to time. In the songwriter's personal life, it was the address of his home. Although he moved away from that house in 1969, years later a more recent owner put up a plaque which reads: "Casa Poppins" because it was in that house that Sherman lived during the writing of Mary Poppins. The plaque is still at that location.An adaptation of this song called "Precision and Order" is evident in the stage musical version.
This song is the only time it is mentioned what year the film is set in; "It's grand to be an Englishman in 1910 / King Edward's on the throne; it's the age of men!" This dating was later used to inform the 1930s setting of the 2018 sequel film, Mary Poppins Returns.
The Life I Lead is a 2019 one-man comedy play about David Tomlinson's life which the title refers to the song. The song is sung in the play by Miles Jupp who plays Tomlinson.Tom Sawyer (1973 film)
Tom Sawyer is a 1973 American musical film adaptation of the Mark Twain boyhood adventure story, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, directed by Don Taylor and starring Johnny Whitaker as the titular character, Jodie Foster as Becky Thatcher, and Jeff East as Huckleberry Finn. Ho-Chunk tribesman Kunu Hank portrayed Injun Joe.
The film was produced by Reader's Digest. The film's screenplay and songs were written by Robert B. Sherman and Richard M. Sherman who would go on to provide more award-winning music for the sequel Huckleberry Finn. It received three nominations at the 46th Academy Awards; Best Original Score, Best Production Design and Best Costume Design.Victory Canteen
Victory Canteen is a musical with book by Milt Larsen and Bobby Lauher and music and lyrics by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman.Walt's Time
Walt's Time: from before to beyond is a 252-page autobiographical, full-color book by Robert B. Sherman and Richard M. Sherman. It was edited by Disney Imagineers Bruce Gordon, David Mumford and Jeff Kurtti and was published in 1998 by Camphor Tree Publishers of Santa Clarita, California. Bruce Gordon did the book design and layout.You're Sixteen
"You're Sixteen" is a song written by the Sherman Brothers (Robert B. Sherman and Richard M. Sherman). It was first performed by American rockabilly singer Johnny Burnette, whose version peaked at number eight on the US Billboard Hot 100 in December 1960 and number 3 in the UK in 1961. The original 1960 version of "You're Sixteen" by Johnny Burnette is featured prominently on the 1973 motion picture soundtrack of the film American Graffiti.
and musical revues
Awards for Robert B. Sherman