The Official Website of Gene Autry, America's Favorite Singing Cowboy

News Archive: 2009

the boys: the sherman brothers story
Film Documentary

Posted May 26, 2009

Gene Autry fans know that America's Favorite Singing Cowboy influenced many of today's popular musicians including Bo Diddley, Willie Nelson, and Johnny Cash. But did you know that Gene was also significant to songwriters Richard and Robert Sherman?

That's right, the men responsible for some of the most beloved songs every written for film – Mary Poppins, The Jungle Book and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang to name a few – have a Gene Autry connection. Walt Disney Pictures' new documentary the boys: the sherman brothers' story is a film we think Gene Autry fans will enjoy.

Karla Buhlman, President of Gene Autry Entertainment, saw a special screening of the boys at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood on May 19th. Guests were greeted by Disney characters who've sung the amazing songs written by Richard and Robert Sherman - Mary Poppins, Winnie the Pooh and Tigger, and Baloo and King Louie from The Jungle Book. Before the screening, Richard Sherman spoke and performed a selection of his songs on a grand piano. To see a songwriter perform his songs live is something special, and when the songs are A Spoonful of Sugar, Winnie the Pooh, and It's a Small World After All the experience is quite wonderful!

The El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood

Tigger, Karla and Pooh Bear

Karla's ticket to the special screening

Here is the film synopsis provided by the filmmakers:

the boys: the sherman brothers' story is an intimate journey through the lives of Robert B. Sherman and Richard M. Sherman, the astoundingly prolific, Academy Award winning songwriting team that defined family musical entertainment for five decades. The feature-length documentary, conceived, produced and directed by two of the songwriters' sons, takes audiences behind the scenes of the Hollywood magic factory and offers a rare glimpse of a unique creative process at work. It also explores a deep and longstanding rift that has kept the brothers personally estranged throughout much of their unparalleled professional partnership.

After watching the film, Karla Buhlman has this to share with the Gene's fans about the boys: the sherman brothers' story:

"Working for Gene Autry Entertainment I see all sides of the musical coin – the performer, the publisher, and the songwriter. I have a soft spot in my heart for songwriters so this film was really touching to me because I love the songs of the Sherman Brothers and their personal story really moved me. The interviews in the film with the brothers and those who worked with them such as Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke were especially powerful. Having worked on Gene Autry's biography I value the importance of first hand accounts and commentaries and the filmmakers for this documentary are blessed with a treasure trove of such interviews. The restored film clips from Disney films and other productions were also quite striking.

"I grew up with the Sherman Brothers music and have watched my children experience the same fun and joy from songs like Chim Chim Cherrie, I Wanna Be Like You and The Tiki Room. It was only recently that I learned their first hit was Gene Autry's recording of their song Gold Can Buy You Anything (But Love). Therefore it was a real pleasure to work with the produces of this film on photos of Gene and a newly restored Gene Autry's Melody Ranch Radio Show track of the song.

"The film opens May 22nd and is in limited release at this time. If you have a chance to see the boys in a theater, I strongly encourage you to do so as the film clips are restored and look so wonderful on the big screen. If the film does not go into wide release, I hope it will soon be on DVD and that you can watch it at home. My recommendation is to watch the film with your family, sing along with the songs, then go out for ice cream afterwards to talk about your Sherman Brothers' musical memories and your own family relationships."

Supercalifragilistic gals
Mary Poppins and Karla

Baloo, Karla and King Louie all
"wanna be like you!"

You can watch the trailer on the film's official website Once the intro has played, you'll get a menu page. Click on Trailer at the bottom of the page.

Read Leonard Maltin's review here.

Here is a list of the theaters the boys will be playing on Friday May 22nd:

El Capitan Theatre
6838 Hollywood Blvd.
Hollywood, CA 90028

Landmark's Regent Theatre
1045 Broxton Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90024

Landmark Sunshine Cinema
143 East Houston St
New York, NY 10002

AMC Metreon
101 4th Street
San Francisco, CA 94103

Cinemas Palme D'Or
72-840 Highway 111, #C104
Palm Desert, CA 92260

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