Tuesday, March 6, 2012

"Play It . . ."

With the passing of Robert Sherman, yet another door closes to Disney’s golden era. Not that the songwriters working for Disney today are slackers, but the Sherman Brothers – Robert with his brother Richard – were Disney music, as much as Carl Stalling was Warner Brothers/Bugs Bunny music.

These guys put a lot into their work – and “work” was whatever was at hand. Robert Sherman joined the US Army at age 17 and was among the first to enter the concentration camp at Dachau. He won a passel of decorations from the army and then went on with his brother to win two Academy awards for Best Original Song (Chim Chim Cher-ee)and Best Substantially Original Score.

And then there’s Feed the Birds, which was Walt Disney’s favorite. Often, years after Mary Poppins, all Disney had to do was ask the Sherman Brothers to “play it,” and they knew which song he spoke of.

These songs are as much a part of my childhood as going to school, playing around in the dirt, riding bicycles and whatever else I did as a kid.

Thanks, boys.

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