Thursday, December 18, 2008

Sherman and Sherman

Think of movie soundtracks and you might say Ennio Morricone or Bernard Herrmann or Danny Elfman (say). Or even Elton John. But you probably wouldn't think of the Sherman Brothers, Robert B (b.1925) and his younger brother, Richard M (b.1928), who, between them, have probably written more popular songs for the movies than anyone else.

Whilst re-watching Disney films with my daughter I started noticing the Sherman brothers name cropping up over and over again. Chim Chim Cher-ee? Check. Bare Necessities? Uh huh. Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious? Yup. (As they wrote the song, I'm guessing they invented the word. How cool is that, inventing a word?). They are responsible for all those annoying songs you first hear as a naive child and remember for the rest of your life.

Between them they've written award-winning songs for loads of Disney films including The Jungle Book, Mary Poppins, Winnie the Pooh, The Aristocats, Bedknobs & Broomsticks and The Lion King, as well as songs in other films like Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Beverley Hills Cop III, The Fabulous Baker Boys, War of the Worlds and Bewitched. They are absolute geniuses.

But isn't it funny when a musician who excels in their field starts tinkering with painting in the later years of their life? And then claims it's their true vocation and music is just their "side line"? But it's obvious their painting is rubbish and they should have just stuck to their music and put the paintings in the attic. I mean like Miles Davis, Bob Dylan and Robert B Sherman (and also like Henri Cartier-Bresson though he was obviously a photographer but like a few years before he died stopped taking photos and concentrated on drawing, saying he preferred it to photography). Oh well, I can guess we can forgive the great their foibles.

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