Robert B. Sherman, the elder half of the songwriting duo aka The Sherman Brothers passed away yesterday in London. He was 86.
Robert (above left) with his brother Richard (center) were Walt Disney’s favorite song composers of the 1960s. Some of their classic songs include Chim Chim Cher-ee (the Oscar winner from Mary Poppins), The Tiki Tiki Tiki Room, The Ugly Bug Ball, The Wonderful World of Color, I Wan’na Be Like You, There’s a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow, It’s A Small World …and hundreds of others.
Robert and Richard began their songwriting career on a dare from their hit-song writing dad, Al Sherman (You Gotta Be a Football Hero), and sold their first song in 1951 to Gene Autry. Among their early hits were You’re Sixteen (for Johnny Burnette and later Ringo Starr) and Tall Paul (for Annette). After their time at Disney, the duo wrote songs for various animated features including Disney’s The Aristocats, Hanna-Barbera’s Charlottes Web, Snoopy Come Home, Little Nemo, The Mighty Kong, and not to mention the live action Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. I’m leaving so many things out. If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend the 2009 Sherman Brothers documentary, directed by their sons, The Boys.
They wrote many incedental bits and theme songs – all of them memorable. I’m particularly fond of the title sequences in The Mis-Adventures of Merlin Jones and The Monkey’s Uncle. Since this is an animation blog, we’ll leave you with this one, with cut-out animation by Bill Justice and X. Atencio:
Please share your favorite Sherman Bros. songs in the comments.