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Richard Sherman Remembers MARY POPPINS & Analyzes Songwriting Success

Academy Award-winning songwriter Richard Sherman remembers writing the classic score for the iconic Disney movie musical MARY POPPINS as well as comments on the real-life history forming the basis for the new feature film all about its creation, SAVING MR. BANKS, as part of a new interview.

Eloquently explicating his songwriting process with his brother, Robert, Sherman relates that the secret to their success was one element in particular: "It was the balance between the two of us," Sherman says.

"I would have been too mushy, and Bob would have been too hard. It was the bouncing back and forth of ideas that produced these songs. There's a lot of things that would soften as we worked together. It was Bob who said, 'A spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down.' That's correct, but it's not right, because you don't want to force it. So 'a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down' is better. And then we softened it even more, by adding 'in a most delightful way.' The collaboration helped shape things. And I think it made the success we had," Sherman asserts.

"We had 50 years of writing together," he concludes.

Additionally, Sherman cheerfully refers to himself as "the last man standing" in the MARY POPPINS universe and suggests credit be placed where it is due for the final finished film as it exists, then and now.

"Everybody thinks Mrs. Travers wrote the story for the film, but it was Don DaGradi and Bob and Dick Sherman who wrote it," Sherman confirms.

"Walt asked us to read the first book and tell him what we thought. We knew the gauntlet had been thrown. But these stories had no plot, so we created a viable storyline. And then Bill Walsh came in and made a great screenplay with Don," Sherman recalls.

Check out the original article on the matter here.


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