The music of Mary Poppins is still Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious

Aug 22, 2012

Obit Robert Sherman

In this April, 5,1965 file photo actress Debbie Reynolds poses with Academy awards winners for best music Richard M. Sherman, right and Robert Sherman, left, who received the award for Mary Poppins in Santa Monica Calif. Credit: Anonymous/AP

We’ve all heard it said that it’s a small world. But nobody has said it in as many languages as Richard and Robert Sherman.

They penned the seemingly immortal Disney song “It’s a Small World (After All),” said to be the most translated and most performed song ever. They first came to Walt Disney’s attention with their hit “Tall Paul,” which was a Top Ten hit for Mouseketeer Annette Funicello. Disney commissioned them to write a song for his 1965 New York World’s Fair Pavilion; that song became the theme of the Disneyland attraction “It’s a Small World.” Their long list of film music credits includes“The Parent Trap,” “The Jungle Book,” “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” and “The Aristocats.” But the Sherman brothers are probably best known for their Oscar-winning music for Disney’s 1965 film “Mary Poppins.”

Nearly forty years later the film was reimagined as a musical, using the Sherman brothers’ original songs, which premiered in London’s West End, went on to Broadway, and is currently playing at the Ahmanson. The brothers continued working together up until Robert’s death earlier this year. Richard Sherman joins Larry to talk about seeing Mary Poppins fly on Broadway and what it’s like to write songs for Mouseketeers, cartoon orangutans and dancing chimney sweeps.


Richard Sherman, award-winning songwriter who, along with his brother Robert Sherman wrote the music for Mary Poppins, The Jungle Book, Winnie the Pooh, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and many others

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