Richard M. Sherman

From Wind Repertory Project
Richard M. Sherman


Richard Morton Sherman (b. 12 June 1928, New York City) is an American songwriter.

Following seven years of frequent cross-country moves, the Sherman family finally settled down in Beverly Hills, California in 1937. During Richard's years at Beverly Hills High School, he became fascinated with music and studied several instruments, including the flute, piccolo, and piano. At his 1946 graduation from Beverly Hills High School, Sherman and classmate André Previn played a musical duet with Previn on piano and Sherman on flute. As a student at Bard College, Sherman majored in music, writing numerous sonatas and "art songs". His ambition to write the "great American symphony" eventually led him to write songs. Within two years of graduating, Sherman and his brother began writing songs together, answering a challenge from their father, a partnership that lasted more than 60 years.

In 1958 the Sherman Brothers had their first Top Ten hit with Tall Paul, sung by Mouseketeer Annette Funicello. The success of this song got 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 may be their most successful 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 the film Mary Poppins (1964). After Mary Poppins, the Sherman Brothers won nine Academy Award nominations, two Grammy Awards, four Grammy Award nominations and 23 gold and platinum albums. The Shermans worked directly for Walt Disney until Disney's death in 1966.

After leaving the company, the brother songwriting team 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 wrote the screenplay. The brother worked together until Robert's death in 2012.

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