"Schoolhouse Rock" writer Bob Dorough dead at 94

Bob Dorough

"Schoolhouse Rock!" got started in 1971 when Dorough was commissioned to put music to multiplication tables.

Dorough was born in Arkansas on December 12, 1923, and raised in Texas. In the late '40s, Dorough made his way to NY, working there as a pianist and singer.

Dorough was a conductor, accompany player, arranger and conductor for a number of years before recording his first effort of his own, "Devil May Care", in 1956 for the Bethlehem label. "I could sing all of it without the words". The title track was later recorded by MILES DAVIS, which has since become a jazz standard. "Three is a magic number". "I learned, when performing at elementary schools, that they were 'getting through, ' so to speak, and the children would readily recognize my voice on such vocals as 'Three is a Magic Number, ' and others that I sang".

The song spawned the album Multiplication Rock and the concept was later sold to ABC executive Michael Eisner, ultimately becoming the first iteration of Schoolhouse Rock!.

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Bob Dorough, the jazz musician who wrote numerous best-loved Schoolhouse Rock songs, has died at age 94.

Other famous works Dorough contributed to many a childhood were "Conjunction Junction", "Electricity, Electricity" and "Lolly, Lolly, Lolly, Get Your Adverbs Here".

The tribute album Schoolhouse Rock! "He was leaving Professor Pat Dorian's office at East Stroudsburg University - even in an academic setting, he glowed with health and good cheer, spreading sunshine wherever he went", McKay says.

Later in life Dorough served as a mentor to British-American singer, actress and comedian Nellie McKay and continued to play music in the weeks leading up to his death.

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