Last night I had the pleasure to join a group of friends, singers and the family of Richard Sherman to celebrate his 95th birthday. The venue was a small cabaret type theatre, but the mood in the room was filled with great affection and love for this man. Who does not know a Sherman Brothers song?
Everybody visiting a Disney Theme Park is familiar with what has become the most played song of all time "It's a Small World". Richard is amused by the fact that some people love this tune, and others are annoyed by it because they can't get it out of their head. It is an ear worm for sure. Once in a while, at parties or other gatherings, Richard plays "It's a Small World" in a slow tempo. It is then when you realize how meaningful the lyrics actually are. This is an anthem for peace.
So many great songs over the years. We even got to listen to some that were outtakes, as well as songs written for never performed stage musicals.
I can't say enough about Richard's talent, his enthusiasm and curiosity (for life), his generosity and kindness. The fact that we have a Sherman song in MUSHKA is because Richard offered to write one...not because I asked him to. That just didn't cross my mind way back, after all...this is Richard Sherman. He was so collaborative with composer Fabrizio Mancinelli and me, always encouraging about storytelling and music. I remember telling him about the ending of the film, mentioning that there is an A and a B version. He immediately shouted: "It's version B, you've got to do version B!" Version B was the more emotional ending, and of course that became the final version.
It was so much fun growing up with Sherman Brothers songs, and I still pinch myself today as I realize that I got to work with the great Richard M. Sherman.
That's of course his wife Elizabeth with him in the photo. And who offered them this specific kind of beverage?? Elizabeth is equally wonderful, she can tell stories in a way that will have you rolling on the floor, she is that funny. I love the way they are holding hands. The two of them got married the year I was born.
By the way, in the far back right, you see me talking to Maestro Mancinelli.
To finish off this post, here are those lyrics for "It's a Small World":