March 7, 2012

A WORLD OF LAUGHTER:

'Mary Poppins' songwriter Robert Sherman dies at 88 (Alan D. Abbey, March 7, 2012, JTA)

Sherman and his brother Richard were on staff for Disney during its glory years in the 1950s and 1960s and wrote pop confections such as "Tall Paul," for Mouseketeer Annette Funicello, which hit the pop charts in the early days of rock. Their most remembered and honored songs came from "Mary Poppins," including the novelty "Supercalifragilisticexpialadocius," a word the Shermans said they made up out of double-talk. A Wikipedia entry defines the word as meaning, "atoning for educability through delicate beauty." The pair received their only Oscar of three nominations, for the film's songs, which also won them a Grammy Award.

The Shermans also wrote songs for such childrens' films as "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang," "Bedknobs and Broomsticks," "Charlotte's Web," and "The Jungle Book." The two worked together until recently, reviving and adding songs for British stage versions of Poppins and Chitty in the last few years.

A 2009 documentary, "The Boys: The Sherman Brothers' Story," made by the Shermans' sons detailed their creative successes but also the personal issues the two brothers had. They were an inseparable musical team but bitter enemies away from the piano. 

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Posted by at March 7, 2012 6:12 PM
  

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