Looking into 1965, the volume of influential and impactful music continues to explode. We will average more than an album a month across many genres. Even with that, the #1 selling album in 1965? The soundtrack to the Walt Disney film Mary Poppins, released late in 1964, starring Julie Andrews in another perfect and timeless role as Mary, and Dick Van Dyke, a lovable chimney sweep named Burt with a very suspect British accent.
I have seen the movie many times, and have even seen two really impressive young theater performances of Mary Poppins, mainly due to the impressive casting in each case for Mary. This soundtrack is certainly classic Disney at its best, and the Sherman brothers packed this album with songs that explain the mass appeal of the movie and the soundtrack. “A Spoonful of Sugar”, “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocius” (good luck finding that in the spell-check), “Chim Chim Cher-ee”, “Step In Time”, and the powerful finale number (especially in theater with a full ensemble chorus) “Let’s Go Fly a Kite” add musical knockout power to the charming story of Mary & Burt and the Banks family.
Even in 1965, the world was grappling with pain, struggle and conflict while looking with hope for simpler times and happier imagery. That always has been and always will be the formula for Walt Disney, and Mary Poppins is Disney at its best.