'Schoolhouse Rock!' musician Bob Dorough dies at 94

by Edgar Hayes April 26, 2018, 0:39
'Schoolhouse Rock!' musician Bob Dorough dies at 94

He released his first album, "Devil May Care", in 1956, and the title track would go on to be covered by Miles Davis, among others.

The ARKANSAS-born, TEXAS-raised DOROUGH was a composer, arranger and player in the Special Services Army Band before moving to NY to become a pianist and singer.

If you instantly start singing along, you're of that "Schoolhouse Rock" generation that learned lifelong lessons about civics, grammar, math and other school subjects through the catchy tunes and lyrics of musician Bob Dorough.

We invite you to share condolences for Bob Dorough in our Guest Book. He performed all the multiplication songs, and collaborated on the history, science, and grammar songs.

The executive said his sons couldn't multiply and asked Dorough to set the multiplication tables to music. Dorough would become the series' musical director, and the show was composed of many of his original songs such as "Three Is a Magic Number".

Dorough turned that concept into a ditty called "Three Is a Magic Number", and it became the first step for a project first known as "Multiplication Rock" and, later, "Schoolhouse Rock". The artist's songs helped educate children on the long-running ABC cartoon series. "Conjunction junction, what's your function?"

Dorough, a jazz pianist and vocalist, wrote his first "Schoolhouse Rock" tune after a NY advertising executive approached him in 1971.

Dorough himself continued to play live for the rest of his life - at 92, Dorough performed "Devil May Care" for member station WBGO - and as recently as three weeks ago in upstate NY.


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