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Richard Morton Sherman (born June 12, 1928; see also: "Sherman Brothers") is an Americanmarker songwriter who specializes in musical film with his brother Robert Bernard Sherman.

Some of the Sherman Brothers' best-known writing includes the songs from Mary Poppins, The Jungle Book, Winnie the Pooh, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The Slipper and the Rose and the theme park song, "It's a Small World ".

Early life

Richard Morton Sherman was born in New York Citymarker to Russian-Jewish immigrants, Rosa & Al Sherman. Together with his older brother Robert, "The Sherman Brothers" would eventually follow 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, Californiamarker in 1937. Throughout Richard's years at Beverly Hills High Schoolmarker he became fascinated with music and studied several instruments including the flute, piccolo and piano.

At his 1946 graduation from Beverly Hills High Schoolmarker, Richard Sherman and André Previn played a musical duet - Previn (played piano) accompanying Sherman (who played flute). Coincidentally, in 1965 both composers won Oscars for different films, both winning in musical categories.

At Bard Collegemarker, Richard majored in Music, writing numerous sonatas and "art songs" during his time there but it was Richard's ambition to write the "Great American Symphony" which eventually led him to write songs. Within two years of graduating, Richard and Robert Sherman began writing songs together on a challenge from their father, songwriter Al Sherman.

Korean conflict

In 1953 Richard was drafted into United States Army joining the band and glee club. Richard served as a musical conductor for both groups and remained in the U.S. during his time in the service. He was not in combat. During this time, collaborator brother, Robert, worked with other songwriters. In 1955 Sherman was honorably discharged from the Armed Forces.

Marriage and family

In 1957 Richard married Elizabeth Gluck with whom he had two children: Gregory and Victoria. Lynda (Sherman) Rothstein is his daughter from a previous marriage.


In 1958 the Sherman Brothers had their first "Top Ten" hit with "Tall Paul", sung 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.

While at Disney, the Sherman Brothers wrote what is perhaps their best-loved song: It's a Small World (after all) for the 1964 New York World's Fair. Since then, "Small World" has become the most translated and performed song on earth.

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". Since Mary Poppins premiere, the Sherman Brothers have subsequently earned 9 Academy Award nominations, 2 Grammy Awards, 4 Grammy Award nominations and an 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 authored 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 Theatermarker.

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 of the motion picture realm, their Tony 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 holds the distinction of reaching Billboard's #1 spot 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 twenty eight years. In 2002, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang hit the London stage as a musical and received rave revues.Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is currently the most successful stage show ever produced at the London Palladiummarker boasting the longest run in that century old theatre's history. In 2005 the musical premiered on Broadway (New York City) at the Hilton Theatre. The Sherman Brothers wrote an additional six songs specifically for the new stage productions.

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 premier at the Prince Edward Theatremarker in December 2004 and features the Sherman Brothers classic songs. In 2008 Poppins is scheduled to embark on a UK tour a forthcoming US tour is also expected.

Recent years

  • The Sherman Brothers' classic motion picture,
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was adapted into a Londonmarker West Endmarker Musical in 2002 and premiered at the London Palladiummarker on April 16, 2002 featuring many new songs and a reworked score by both Sherman Brothers. It was nominated for a 2003 Laurence Olivier Theatre Award for Best New Musical. The Sherman Brothers each received the "Musical Theatre Award" from the Variety Club of Great Britain that year as well for Chitty. Chitty finished a record breaking, three and a half year run at the Palladium becoming the longest running show in the theatre's century long history. 2004 saw the premiere of Mary Poppins on the stage. In 2005, Poppins was nominated for nine Olivier Awards. In 2005 Chitty went to Broadway and was nominated for 9 Tonys and also began its nation wide (UK) tour.

"Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" with the band.

Collaboration from afar

Since 2002, Robert Sherman has lived in London, Englandmarker. He moved from Beverly Hillsmarker, while Richard Sherman remained in California. The geographical separation has not impeded the brothers' collaborative process. The brothers have credited this to fax, email and low cost international telephone service. Both brothers travel between Los Angeles, New Yorkmarker and London frequently which also facilitates their work. Since Robert's move, the brothers have continued to collaborate on various musical plays.

Major film scores

Motion picture screenplays

Stage musicals

Theme park songs

Professional awards

Academy Awards

Annie Awards

BAFTA Awards


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

Christopher Award


Golden Globes

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

Moscow Film Festival

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

National Medal of Arts

Olivier Awards

Songwriters Hall of Fame

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

Variety Club Awards

Walk of Fame

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


  1. A Chat with The Aristocats composer, Richard Sherman of the Sherman Brothers - DVD
  2. Playbill News: Sherman Brothers Working on New Musical Merry-Go-Round
  3. Garreau, Joel. "Stan Lee, Olivia de Havilland Win Medal of Arts Honors",Washington Post, November 17, 2008

External links

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