Exciting news for Disney fans! The legacy of iconic Disney songwriter Richard M. Sherman continues to surprise and delight as veteran Disney music historian Randy Thornton recently unearthed a treasure trove of previously unknown tapes. These revealing conversations feature Sherman, his brother and songwriting partner Robert B. Sherman, and “Mary Poppins” creator P.L. Travers, giving fresh insight into the creation of some of Disney’s most beloved tunes.

In an exclusive interview with Variety, Thornton, who has been the studio’s resident supervising producer of music projects for nearly four decades, shared that during his work on various soundtrack restoration projects with the Sherman brothers, Richard had once hinted at a hidden gem. Thornton was entrusted with a stack of seven-inch tape reels that contain story meetings between the Shermans, Travers, and screenwriter Don DaGradi. These tapes had been preserved in Richard’s private archives for over 60 years, offering a rare “fly on the wall” perspective into the creative process behind the beloved film “Mary Poppins.”

The tapes are set to be featured in an upcoming podcast series, “Disney: A Recorded History,” hosted by Thornton himself. Spanning 12 episodes, the podcast will debut today on platforms like Apple and Spotify, covering significant moments in Disney’s storied history. The series will culminate in episodes 10, 11, and 12, where listeners can finally hear the long-hidden “Poppins” material.

Listeners can anticipate captivating narratives from Disney’s inception to its golden years, including extensive conversations with Walt Disney recorded in 1956, used as research for his daughter Diane Disney Miller’s book “The Story of Walt Disney.” Early episodes will explore the origins of classics like “Steamboat Willie,” “The Three Little Pigs,” and “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” featuring anecdotes from Disney legends like Ward Kimball and animators Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston.

Thornton emphasizes that this series not only provides archival audio but encapsulates Disney’s storytelling spirit. He describes portions where Walt Disney himself shares his story, with some segments echoed in the 2001 documentary “Walt: The Man Behind the Myth.”

What do you think about this historic find? Share your thoughts in the comments and don’t hesitate to spread the magic by sharing this story with other Disney enthusiasts! For more info, check out the full interview on Variety’s website [source link].

[Credits: Original source Variety, Jon Burlingame]