By the late 1960s, the songwriting team known as the Sherman Brothers was already legendary thanks to Mary Poppins, The Jungle Book, and any number of other Disney classics, not to mention their Disneyland anthem, “It’s a Small World.” And, of course, there was Chitty, Chitty, Bang, Bang, with its fantastical song score. So, it’s hard to imagine that starting in 1969 three exciting new Sherman Brothers projects were all cancelled, one after another. And these projects were heartbreakers for “the boys” (as Walt Disney called them), three that got away. But now Kritzerland is proud to bring these three song scores to you for the very first time!
THE 13 CLOCKS
In 1950, the great cartoonist/humorist James Thurber published his fantasy story, The 13 Clocks, a tale about a prince who must perform a seemingly impossible task, to rescue a maiden from an evil duke. In 1968, Warner Bros. hired producer Mervyn LeRoy to make a film of it, and the Sherman Brothers were to write the score, having just come off their first film away from Disney, Chitty, Chitty, Bang, Bang. They wrote a delightful score, but then Warners was purchased by the Kinney conglomerate and the project was cancelled. Happily they’d made a demo of their song score, orchestrated by Don Ralke, sung by the Don Ralke singers and guest singer Fred Darian. The score they wrote is classic Sherman Brothers, filled with their trademark hummable tunes and wordplay.
That same year, the brothers formed an alliance with two educational film producers, Ira Englander and Barry Taper. For their first project, they created an original musical that would, in the brothers’ words, “borrow a little bit of mythology from every fairy tale we could think of.” They titled it Sir Puss-in-Boots. They assembled an amazing voice cast for the film: Sammy Davis, Jr., Karl Malden, comedian Jack Carter, Jinny Tyler, and English radio host, Michael Jackson. Everything was going well until the money ran out. And so, the second project was cancelled. Again, thankfully, a demo recording was made, with several of the voice actors singing their songs, including Sammy Davis, Jr., Karl Malden, and Jinny Tyler. And again, the brothers’ songs are toe tapping, tuneful wonders.
In 1969, Paramount Pictures and director Franco Zeffirelli (riding high on his success with his film of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew), decided to make a musical update of the classic film Roman Holiday, and Zeffirelli invited the brothers to join the project. They wrote three songs to play for producer Dino De Laurentiis. He loved the songs and the project was a go – until the day the studio pulled the plug. And that was the third cancelled project. But while the project was still a go, the brothers had the great good fortune of having the brilliant conductor, arranger, and orchestrator, Irwin Kostal, do orchestral recordings of the three songs. But before vocals could be put on them, the ax fell. For this CD, we took those three orchestral tracks and brought in singers to record the vocals all these years later, a Roman Holiday indeed.
THE 13 CLOCKS
1 Fred Darian and The Don Ralke Singers - The 13 Clocks 2:15
2 Fred Darian and The Don Ralke Singers - Ten Minutes to Nine 3:21
3 Fred Darian and The Don Ralke Singers - Day by Beautiful Day 2:15
4 Fred Darian and The Don Ralke Singers - Little Minor Miracle 1:56
5 Fred Darian and The Don Ralke Singers - From the Guggle to the Zatch 2:02
6 Fred Darian and The Don Ralke Singers - Where Is Tomorrow? 2:57
7 Fred Darian and The Don Ralke Singers - How Free Would I Be? 2:51
8 Fred Darian and The Don Ralke Singers - If You Don't Ask Questions 2:05
9 Fred Darian and The Don Ralke Singers - I'll March to My Own Drum 2:42
10 Fred Darian and The Don Ralke Singers - Hagga's Lament 1:58
11 Fred Darian and The Don Ralke Singers - Saralinda 2:36
12 Fred Darian and The Don Ralke Singers - The Time Has Come 2:17
13 Sammy Davis, Jr. - Puss-in-Boots 1:34
14 Sammy Davis, Jr. - Rhythm of the Road 2:24
15 Karl Malden - Ogre Song 2:18
16 Prince and Princess - Dawning Sun 1:38
17 Sammy Davis, Jr. - People Are Similar 2:28
18 The Children - Birthday Song 1:03
19 Sammy Davis, Jr. - Lungemore Lancewellington 1:47
20 Karl Malden / Jinny Tyler - Ogre Beans 1:35
21 Sammy Davis, Jr. - Puss-in-Boots - Finale 0:50
22 Sammy Davis, Jr. - Rhythm of the Road (Sammy's Version) 2:36
23 Sammy Davis, Jr., Prince, Princess - People Are Similar (Trio Version) 2:25
24 Prince, Princess, Children - Birthday Song 1:45
25 Brittney Bertier / Amy Gillette / Phil Gold / Rick Kleber / Ryan Ruge / Sami Staitman - The Bells of Roma 3:48
26 Lisa Livesay / Robert Yacko - So Simpatico 2:23
27 Lisa Livesay / Robert Yacko - We'll Still Have Rome 3:22