This past May, I finally took the plunge and made the decision to purchase “The Boys: The Sherman Brothers’ Story” on DVD. For much of my adult life, the music of Robert and Richard Sherman has been a source of great enjoyment for me — my all time favorite song of theirs is, bar none, Feed the Birds, from that incredible movie, Mary Poppins.
So, after much consideration, after much wondering would I like to see a documentary about the men behind the music, after all of that, I decided that it was time to make the investment and learn more about the men behind the music, as seen from the very unique perspective of their sons, Jeff and Gregg Sherman.
As I watched, I learned so much about them that I didn’t know, as sad as it is for me, a Disney fan and blogger, to say. I didn’t know that their Dad was a musician and singer. I didn’t know that the Sherman Brothers did so much work that went beyond the Disney scope — although I should have, because I have The Sherman Brothers Songbook album in my iTunes. Most importantly of all, I didn’t know that Dick and Bob Sherman became distant in later years, and stopped seeing one another for many years.
It was this last point that caused Jeff and Gregg to collaborate and come up with this film — as they said, it was their hope that in doing their story that the differences that the brothers had in the past could be overcome, and that they would see one another once again.
However, as was so eloquently put, unfortunately, “In life, not everything turns out like a Sherman Brothers musical.”
The story of the Sherman Brothers isn’t really all that different from the story of many people from that generation. My father is one of 14 children, and as kids, they naturally gravitated towards those that they were closest too, and there were some of their siblings that didn’t hang out as much, especially as they got older. I know that, for my sister and I, we only saw some of our family at weddings and funerals, if then. It is, in my opinion, only natural sometimes for their to be a separation as people get older, and I think I see that more often in generations the generations that came before me.
What saddens me, though, is that Bob Sherman has now passed on — and I don’t know if Dick and his brother ever had that reuniting that I feel was so desperately needed.
One thing that I do feel is true, though, is that Dick and Bob Sherman, if you could ask them today, would say that they are very proud of their sons for the work that they did in putting this piece together. In doing so, Jeff and Gregg Sherman have shown us a side of the Sherman Brothers that I think makes us appreciate the music they created all the more. Also, by sharing this story with us, I think that the world also sees that Jeff and Gregg Sherman, cousins, truly did acquire quite a bit of the talent that their fathers had.
To Jeff and Gregg, I close by saying thank you, both to you, your team working with you on this project, and to your fathers — for sharing them with the world, and for showing us the human side of them that transcends way beyond the incredible music that they conceived.
If there is anyone out there that has not seen “The Boys: The Sherman Brothers’ Story”, I urge you to do so as soon as you can. You are doing yourself a disservice by not watching this great movie about one of the greatest teams every created.