‘Mary Poppins’ songwriter Richard M. Sherman passes away at 95

Los Angeles:  Oscar-winning songwriter Richard M. Sherman, who is known for his collaborations with his brother Robert B. Sherman on the songs for ‘Mary Poppins’ and ‘It’s a Small World (After All)’, has passed away at the age of 95.

He died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Beverly Hills due to an age-related illness, reports ‘Variety’.

The Sherman brothers held a job that no longer exists: in-house songwriters for a studio. In their case, the studio was Disney, and the brothers were hired for that steady gig after their 1958 song ‘Tall Paul’ became a hit for Mouseketeer Annette Funicello.

As per ‘Variety’, in the early 1960s, they penned tunes for Hayley Mills in Disney films ‘The Parent Trap’, ‘In Search of the Castaways’, and ‘Summer Magic’, as well as songs for ‘The Absent-Minded Professor’ and ‘Moon Pilot’. Walt Disney, always aware of synergy, made sure his family comedies had a tune with radio-play potential.

The Shermans wrote for the animated ‘Sword in the Stone’, which was a big hit, but their career really skyrocketed the following year.

Their ‘Small World’ song debuted at the New York World’s Fair, in a boat ride past audio-animatronic puppet children singing and spinning to the song continuously. After the World’s Fair, the attraction transferred to Disney theme parks.

The song remains the ultimate earworm.


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