'Schoolhouse Rock!' musician Bob Dorough dies at 94

Apr 26, 2018, 00:39
'Schoolhouse Rock!' musician Bob Dorough dies at 94

Dorough was born in Arkansas and raised in Texas.

"Schoolhouse Rock" founder Bob Dorough has died at the age of 94 on Monday.

Bob Dorough, the jazzman who created the clever and enduring Schoolhouse Rock toons that taught grammar, math, science, and citizenship to a generation of TV-watching kids, has died.

"Dorough collaborated with Davis on the serrated holiday song "Blue Xmas (To Whom It May Concern)" and later sang on "Nothing Like You", the closing track of Davis" 1967 album Sorcerer.

According to his biography, the jazz musician "set the multiplication tables to music" as musical director for the educational cartoon.

Then-ABC executive Michael Eisner turned the songs into a series of animated videos that appeared between Saturday morning cartoon shows for 12 years.

Dorough ended up writing "Three's a Magic Number".

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

Although he worked with greats like Miles Davis in the 1950s and '60s, it was in the early 1970s with "Schoolhouse Rock" that Dorough made his biggest pop culture impact. That led to Donough's classic first Schoolhouse Rock song, "Three Is a Magic Number", which is remembered for its brilliant simplicity and sticky chorus that counted to 36 by threes, accompanied by animation.

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.