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Disney Composer Behind ‘Mary Poppins’ Richard Sherman Dies At 95

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Oscar-winning Disney composer Richard Sherman, who, along with his brother Robert, was the first-ever in-house songwriter for Disney Studios, passed away this week at the age of 95.

Throughout his tenure at Disney, Sherman was engaged in composing and producing some of the most iconic film scores in history, including “It’s a Small World (After All)” and the timeless classic “Mary Poppins.” The latter featured songs like “A Spoonful of Sugar,” “Chim Chim Cher-ee,” “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,” and “Feed the Birds.”

Sherman won a Grammy Award for the Best Original Score for a Motion Picture or Television Show for his work on “Mary Poppins.”

Sherman won two Oscars with his brother in 1965 for his work on “Mary Poppins,” for best original score, and best original song for “Chim Chim Cher-ee.”

CNN

“Feed the Birds” was also one of Walt Disney’s favorite songs. Sherman detailed meetings between himself and Disney, during which Walt would request Sherman to play “Feed the Birds” after they had discussed their ongoing work.

“He’d call, not every Friday, but he’d call up and say ‘Come over, we’ll talk,’ ” recalled Sherman. “And so, we’d go over and we’d pass the time about what we were doing, because we were always working on something. And then he’d look out the north window of his office and say, ‘Play it.’ And I’d play and sing ‘Feed the Birds, Tuppence a Bag.’ And he’d say, ‘Yup, have a good weekend boys!’ “

NPR

Sherman was born on June 12, 1928. When Richard was 9 years old, his family moved to Beverly Hills, California.Richard’s father, Al, who worked as a successful songwriter and composer, challenged Richard and his brother, Robert, to write together. This marked the beginning of the brothers’ journey in writing and composing music that would being a career for them both.

In 1958, after many years of practicing their craft, the brothers caught the attention of Walt Disney due to their success with the release of “Tall Paul,” featuring Annette Funicello.

From 1960 to the 1980s, the brothers served as Disney’s in-house songwriters. Their first project with Disney came in 1961 with the release of “The Parent Trap.”

Rest in peace!

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