Chances are, you’re familiar with a few of the songs written by the Sherman Brothers, even if you don’t know who they are by name. Richard and Robert Sherman were one of the most prolific songwriting teams in history. If you’re cleaning the house and find yourself singing a tune like “I Wan’na Be Like You,” “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang,” or “Let’s Go Fly A Kite,” you’ve experienced the inimitable music of the Sherman Brothers.
Robert Sherman (pictured, left) passed away on March 5 in London. He was the older brother and the quiet one: younger brother Richard appeared in public more often and granted more interviews than did Robert, especially after Robert’s wife’s death in 2001. In addition to his work as a composer, Robert was a World War II hero and an accomplished painter.
The Sherman Brothers composed the scores for dozens of films, TV specials, theme park attractions, and stage musicals. They even wrote a song that became a #1 hit for Ringo Starr:
But fans and critics alike know Richard and Robert Sherman best from their Disney work. For half a decade, the Sherman Brothers held the title of Staff Composers at Walt Disney Studios. They were Walt Disney’s go-to guys for fun songs and enjoyable film scores, and Walt affectionately referred to them as “the boys.” After Walt’s death, they worked off and on with the Disney organization on various projects, from movies to theme parks to London and Broadway productions.
To honor the life of Robert Sherman, here’s a list of the ten best Disney songs by the Sherman Brothers.