With his passing this past week, veteran songsmith Robert Sherman enters those most hallowed of music halls -- the myth. The Sherman Brothers crafted some of the most memorable music in the history of the Disney studio.
With his passing this past week, veteran songsmith Robert Sherman enters those most hallowed of music halls -- the myth. Even beyond his personal life -- he was with the platoon of American troops that liberated the German concentration camp Dachau during World War II -- and his many achievements and accolades, he will always been known by the sound he left behind, the lingering melodies and razor sharp lyrics that would keep generations humming and singing along. After a challenge from their Tin Pan Alley icon father Al, Robert and his brother Richard became a duo, delivering an early hit for Disney's reigning sweater girl, Annette Funicello. Their 1958 collaboration, "Tall Paul," got the attention of Walt, and he soon hired the duo as resident House of Mouse composers.
And thus the legacy was born. Over the next few years, the Shermans would craft some of the most memorable music in the history of the studio. They also ventured beyond the celluloid, coming up with material for Disney's theme parks ("In the Tiki, Tiki, Tiki, Tiki, Tiki Room," "Making Memories") as well as the TV and theatre. When the venerable cartoonist died in 1966, the Brothers took their talents freelance, coming back from time to time to work on projects they deemed worthy. Nominated nine times for the Academy Award, he would pick up two for the family favorite Mary Poppins. In his later years, Robert would oversee the conversion of his work to the stage. In the final few years, and in failing health, he spent most of his time living in London and painting, a lifelong passion.
In celebration of this man and his amazing work, we have decided to pull together a Top Ten of sorts. This cannot possible represent everything Robert Sherman was responsible for -- even in today's peek preservationist ilk, some things are still MIA -- but it does provide a brief overview of his undeniable accomplishments. Also, as with any compilation, this is a matter of opinion. One item may have numerous awards to support a higher placement, but in our heart, it cannot trump our final choices. So beginning with one honest obscurity, here is our salute to Sherman: