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Hollywood Composer Richard Sherman Inspires with Music

Composer Richard Sherman and his brother, Robert, wrote the score for the 1964 Disney musical Mary Poppins and dozens of other hit films and television shows, capturing the spirit of an optimistic age.

The two won an Oscar for their song Chim Chim Cher-ee and wrote the theme for the Disneyland attraction “It's a Small World.”

Robert Sherman died two years ago, but the Hollywood Arts Council, which runs inner-city arts programs, recently paid tribute to Richard Sherman.

He gave much of the credit for his famous repertoire to the man behind the Disney movies.

“It's very rewarding, it's thrilling, and just one of those things that I don't take for granted. I feel very lucky to have had the opportunity to write these things because we worked for some great, great people like Walt Disney, who was a genius,” Sherman said.

Much of the Sherman brothers' music is catchy and, like other music lovers, Sherman said he often can't get it out of his head.

“Oh, sure, a lot of the things I've written, and a lot of things I didn't write, that Cole Porter wrote, that Irving Berlin wrote, that the Gershwins wrote. I mean, there are so many great songs. I love them,” he said.

The Hollywood Arts Council also honored film critic Leonard Maltin, who understands the continuing appeal of the Sherman brothers' music.

“They've always been positive thinkers and optimists and that comes through in all those songs. I think that's one reason they've endured all these many years,” Maltin said.