Robbie Sherman Explains: The musical legacy of the Sherman family

Three musical generations of Shermans: Al Sherman, Robert B Sherman and (as a toddler) Robert J Sherman
Three musical generations of Shermans: Al Sherman, Robert B Sherman and (as a toddler) Robert J Sherman

Three musical generations of Shermans: Al Sherman, Robert B Sherman and (as a toddler) Robert J Sherman

You’ve probably heard of the Sherman Brothers. But that’s not where the Sherman family musical legacy began or ended. Just how far back does it go? 


Love Birds creator Robbie Sherman (music, lyrics and book) explains:

As far back as our family history goes, we’ve had Shermans who were musically inclined. Patrilineally, my father and uncle (“The Sherman Brothers”) are the most famous in the line.

My grandfather, Al Sherman was a Tin Pan Alley songwriter. He wrote songs for all the famous names of the day, from Billie Holiday to Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Maurice Chevalier, Rudy Vallee, Kay Starr, “Betty Boop” to “Popeye”. I could name a hundred singers from the 1920s to the 1950s for whom Al Sherman wrote songs and you’d recognize most of their names.

“There must be something to our family tree; it keeps growing new musical branches.”

Before my grandfather Al, my great-grandfather Samuel Sherman was the composer/conductor for Austro-Hungarian Emperor, Franz Josef. You’ll remember Franz Joseph was the father of Prince Franz Ferdinand who, when shot and killed, triggered the beginning of World War I. Samuel’s father Otto was a clarinet player. There were many notable violinists sprinkled throughout the Sherman family as well. That’s as far back as our collective family knowledge goes on the subject, but there have always been musicians in the bloodline.

There must be something to our family tree; it keeps growing new musical branches. I’m very proud to be a part of that.

The music of Robbie’s grandfather, father and uncle in A Spoonful of Sherman, which he conceived and narrated and which is directed by Love Birds’ director Stewart Nicholls. The cast recording of A Spoonful of Sherman was released last month.

 

LOVE BIRDS RUNS 12.35PM DAILY 5-31 AUGUST (EXCEPT 19 AUGUST) AT THE PLEASANCE COURTYARD DURING THE 2015 EDINBURGH FRINGE. BOOK TICKETS HERE.


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