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RICHARD SHERMAN & MILT LARSEN - "SMASH FLOPS": CLASSIC COMEDY SONGS BY TWO HOLLYWOOD LEGENDS

Magic Castle Records is pleased to announce the release to The Orchard of the new comedy compendium of old and new Smash Flops - a collection of songs that just missed being smash hits due to unfortunate timing.  Words and music by the team of Richard M. Sherman and Milt Larsen.

Richard M. Sherman and Milt Larsen both have stars on Hollywood's Walk of Fame - but for other reasons: Two time Oscar and two Time Grammy Winner, Richard M. Sherman, is the composer/lyricist of "Mary Poppins" and "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang," "Jungle Book" and many more (Nine Academy and four Grammy nominations).  Milt Larsen is a lyricist, actor, author, entrepreneur and creator of the world famous Magic Castle private club in Hollywood.

In addition to the new re-mastered  previous smash flops like “Bon A collection of songs that just missed being smash hits due to unfortunate timing, “Bon Voyage, Titanic,” “When the Hindenburg lands today,” “Congratulations Tom Dewey,” “The Confederate Victory Song” and many others, the team of Sherman and Larsen have written dozens of near misses over the years. Included in the new CD collection are two new songs, “The Palin for President Polka” (Sung by her fans who won't give up.) and “The Fracking Song” (Sung by hard-hatted Friends of Fracking).

Milt and Richard have been friends and collaborators for over 60 years and have written many songs and shows, including their latest musical comedy, “Pazzazz!” that tells the story of a very young George M. Cohan and the gay nineties comedy team of Weber and Fields. Richard currently wrote words and music for a new song to accompany the fireworks finale celebrating the Disneyland 60th Anniversary. Their offbeat comedy songs are now available on line.  Go to Sherman and Larsen at iTunes or Amazon to enjoy their comedy songs today.


RICHARD M. SHERMAN BIO - composer/lyricist of "Mary Poppins" and "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang," "Jungle Book" and many more (Nine Academy and four Grammy nominations)

Throughout the legendary Sherman Brothers' career, Richard M. Sherman, along with his late brother, Robert B. Sherman, have written more songs for motion pictures than any team in cinematic history. For generations, the Shermans, foremost composer-lyricists in family entertainment, have written the soundtrack of our childhood, including the most translated song on earth, IT'S A SMALL WORLD (AFTER ALL).

The Sherman Brothers' prolific career has spanned over six decades.  Their achievements include: two Academy Awards for MARY POPPINS (score) and CHIM CHIM CHER-EE (song), nine Oscar nominations, three Grammy Awards, twenty-four Gold and Platinum albums, a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, an honorary Doctorate from their alma mater, Bard College and in 2008 at the White House, 'National Medal of Arts' the highest honor bestowed on American-born artists.

The brothers first gained recognition in popular music with Top 10 hits YOU'RE SIXTEEN, LET'S GET TOGETHER and TALL PAUL. In 1960, the Sherman Brothers were signed to an exclusive contract by Walt Disney, himself, becoming the Disney Studio's first (and only) staff songwriters. The Sherman Brothers wrote over 200 songs featured in Walt's films, TV shows and Theme Parks. The Shermans' 36 feature Disney film credits include: JUNGLE BOOK, THE PARENT TRAP, SUMMER MAGIC, THE ARISTOCATS, BEDKNOBS AND BROOMSTICKS, THE HAPPIEST MILLIONAIRE, THE FAMILY BAND, THE SWORD IN THE STONE, and the WINNIE THE POOH series. They wrote Disney's long-running TV theme song, THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF COLOR and their many contributions to Disney theme parks include: THE TIKI TIKI TIKI ROOM, THERE'S A GREAT BIG, BEAUTIFUL TOMORROW (Carousel of Progress), and ONE LITTLE SPARK (EPCOT).

After their Disney decade, The Shermans had continued musical success, writing words and music for CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG, SNOOPY COME HOME, CHARLOTTE'S WEB, and their first Broadway musical, OVER HERE! The brothers then penned both the screenplays and song scores for TOM SAWYER, HUCKLEBERRY FINN, THE MAGIC OF LASSIE, and THE SLIPPER AND THE ROSE (the 1976 Royal Command film).  In 2000, the Sherman Brothers returned to Disney to write the song score for the animated feature, THE TIGGER MOVIE.  In 2009, Disney Studios released the critically-acclaimed documentary, “the boys: the sherman brothers' story” which chronicles the brothers' personal lives and professional partnership.

The Shermans' songbook continues to delight audiences around the world. After a record-breaking four year run at The London Palladium, CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG plays national tours in the U.S and U.K. The stage production of MARY POPPINS, which ran on Broadway for over six Supercalifragilistic years, continues wowing audiences with worldwide touring companies circling the globe. For decades, Richard has enjoyed raising money for numerous worthwhile causes by performing at charitable events.  One of his proudest moments came when he, along with former president, George H.W. Bush, was awarded the Gold Medallion of Honor by UNICEF for his help in raising funds for children with HIV/AIDS.

Richard M. Sherman continues writing songs and composing music every day. Recently, two collections of his solo instrumentals were released on Solid Air CD:  “Forgotten Dreams” (2010) and “Keys of Love” (2012).

A song Richard penned, “Make Way for Tomorrow Today” was featured in the blockbuster film, IRON MAN 2.   Recently, Richard served as Musical Consultant on the Walt Disney film, “Saving Mr. Banks,” which tells the story of how Walt Disney acquired the rights to produce his masterpiece, MARY POPPINS. Also, Richard is working on a stage version of the animated classic, “The Jungle Book”, and PAZZAZZ!, a new comedy musical written in collaboration with Milt Larsen.


MILT LARSEN BIO - a lyricist, actor, author, entrepreneur and creator of the world famous Magic Castle private club in Hollywood

MILT LARSEN IS BEST KNOWN FOR HIS ROLE IN THE WORLD OF MAGIC.   In September 2006 he celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of his annual stage show It’s Magic!  The event was commemorated with an all-star show at Hollywood’s famed Kodak Theater.  At that time Milt and his late brother Bill were honored with a star on Hollywood Boulevard’s Walk of Fame.
In 1963 he founded the world famous private club for magicians, the Magic Castle in Hollywood.  He is the President of Magic Castles, Inc.   In the year 2000 Magic Magazine polled their international readership and voted Milt Larsen as one of the 100 most influential individuals in the history of magic.  He is a true renaissance man in that his career encompasses writing, producing and performing.

As a writer he is best known in the field of audience participation having written Truth or Consequences starring Bob Barker for an incredible run of eighteen years!  In his early days he authored five joke books and three books involving Magic Castle.  He writes a weekly column for members of the club as well as editing their monthly newsletter.

In the songwriting field the team of Sherman and Larsen have a cult comedy following for their outrageous songs (for their time) that can be heard currently on CD’s “Bon Voyage Titanic – Smash Flops” and “Banned Barbershop Ballads.  He has written many stage revues and musicals.     A new musical, “Pazzazz” Music and Lyrics by Richard M. Sherman and Milt Larsen, enjoyed a full-scale premiere production at the University of Texas in Arlington, Texas.  It will have its world premiere at Santa Barbara’s Lobero Theater March 27-30, 2008.

His collaborator is Richard M. Sherman who has won two Academy Awards (Mary Poppins song and score) and eight Oscar nominations.  He is a member of the songwriter’s Hall of Fame and currently has two major stage hits “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” in London and “Mary Poppins” in London and on Broadway. The Sherman Brothers also were honored with a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame.

As a producer, in addition to The Magic Castle and It’s Magic! Larsen owned and operated to Mayfair Music Hall in Santa Monica producing live stage revues for 10 years and the Variety Arts Theater, a 1200 seat variety theater in downtown Los Angeles for 12 years.  He has produced TV special for ABC, CBS and NBC.  He was the creator and consultant for the fifty million dollar Caesars Magic Empire at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.

As a performer he is an active member of SAG and AFTRA and has been seen yanking tablecloths in films and commercials. He has been the opening act for The Amazing Johnathan in Las Vegas.  He has been a lecturer at the Smithsonian in Washington D.C. and magic conventions in America, Mexico, Europe and Japan.

On radio, for several years Larsen was the Monday morning guest on Ron “The Baron” Herrons popular KZBN 1290 AM Breakfast Club Show in Santa Barbara.   This led to his creating a weekly radio feature “HEAR THEM AGAIN – for the first time”- featuring recordings from the first half of the twentieth century.   The show is now heard on CRN the Digital Cable Network coast to coast Saturday morning at 6-7 AM and Sunday at 4-5 P.M.  TV Channel 946.  www.CRNTALK.COM. The show is also heard worldwide Saturday afternoons at 4:30-5:30 on Satellite radio www.yesterdayUSA.com

Milt Larsen lives on Santa Barbara’s picturesque Mesa overlooking the Harbor with his wife, award winning costume designer Arlene, and their two lovable mutts, Angel and Wizard.

COLLECTOR/HISTORIAN
IN ADDITION TO HIS OTHER INTERESTS Milt Larsen is a well-known theatre historian and record collector.  Many consider the closing of the famed Palace Theater in New York in 1932 as the final curtain for vaudeville.  At that time Milt was only one year old.  He became interested in the vaudeville era as a kid and loved talking to as many of the “old-timers” still around at the time.   He was an aspiring comedy writer and was fascinated by the comedians of the past.  He started collecting recordings of showbusiness personalities as a teenager.  His hobby grew into a passion and his collection of thousands of vintage 78’s and LP’s is a treasure trove of variety history.
Through his magical family he met and got to know famous people who were stars long before he was born.  Working as a writer for Ralph Edwards TV Productions he was often called upon to keep subjects of his “This Is Your Life” TV show occupied while the production team set up their surprise for the subject.  Edwards knew his young writer was enamored with the older stars and enjoyed talking to them.  Thus Milt entertained legends like Buster Keaton, Stan Laurel, Ed Wynn, Mack Sennett, George Burns, Jack Benny and many others.   While still in High School he worked as a record archivist for Eddie Cantor.  Veteran stars Milton Berle, Bob Hope, Buddy Ebsen and Steve Allen often called upon Larsen for his consultation on songs and variety acts.

He has always loved radio and his first job as a professional writer was with the ABC Radio network. It was a daytime audience participation show with variety acts and a 25-piece house orchestra.  While still a teenager he was the weekly guest with radio personality Jim Hawthorne on a CBS radio program that featured milt’s old records and commentary by CBS founder Andrew White.

His weekend national radio shows recorded in his studio on the premises of the Magic Castle in Hollywood.  His facilities house his huge record collection and his studio is designed specifically to play the old 78-RPM vintage recordings.   His studio console turntables were originally installed at the NBC Radio City studios at Sunset and Vice in Hollywood.    The shows are recorded using the newest state of the art MAC computer technology which includes to ability to clean up the snap, crackles and pops associated with the old records.

The concept of the show is that younger generations have never heard samples of the great performers of the past.  Like an old joke, if you never heard it before --- it’s brand new with that in mind he leads you down the path to discovery.   He introduces young people of today to a time of laughter and silly songs mixed in with some of the greatest music of all time.   Oscar winning songwriter Richard M. Sherman (The Sherman Brothers – Mary Poppins, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, It’s a small World After All etc) is a guest on every show talking about the great songwriters of Tin Pan Alley.  His other guest is a character known as Professor Hockmann, the world’s oldest magician and vaudevillian who always plays just one of those really old acoustical records from Milt’s collection.

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