Bob Dorough, 'Schoolhouse Rock!' Performer and Writer, Dies at 94
26 April, 2018, 12:47
When I spoke with Dorough years ago, he was kind, playful and delighted that the shorts had such a lasting impact on Generation X and beyond.
The Arkansas-born, Texas-raised Dorough began working in music in the army, serving as a composer, arranger and player in the Special Services Army Band between 1943 and '45, before getting a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of North Texas. Dorough sang most of the "Schoolhouse Rock" songs.
Bob Dorough, the jazz musician who was instrumental in the 1970s educational cartoon series "Schoolhouse Rock!" died Monday in Mt. Bethel, Pennsylvania, a spokesperson for Dorough told TheWrap. 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".
"In 1971 he received a commission to 'set the multiplication tables to music.' This led to a small industry, being the beginning of ABC-TV's 'Schoolhouse Rock, ' Saturday morning cartoons that entertained and instructed unsuspecting children during the years 1973-1985", Dorough's biography reads. "Then I looked in the magic book and sure enough, three is one of the magic numbers". From there, they branched out into grammar, American history - to coincide with the U.S. Bicentennial - and science. There are other great installments with other performers, such as Jack Sheldon ("I'm Just a Bill"), Lynn Ahrens ("Interplanet Janet"), Blossom Dearie and others, but we're focusing on Dorough's contributions here.
The tribute album Schoolhouse Rock!
Other famous works Dorough contributed to many a childhood were "Conjunction Junction", "Electricity, Electricity" and "Lolly, Lolly, Lolly, Get Your Adverbs Here".
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