Bob Dorough (1923 - 2018), "Schoolhouse Rock" musician

Bob Dorough

Listen Listening... 4:56 Hear the report by KUAR's Michael Hibblen

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.

"I came because I had such fond, intense memories", said Amy Augenblick, who brought her 9-year-old daughter, Elizabeth. 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 has also produced three albums with the prestigious jazz label, Blue Note Records.

Musician Bob Dorough, who contributed to the creation of Schoolhouse Rock!, died in Mt. Bethel, Pa., his family announced. He performed all the multiplication songs, and collaborated on the history, science, and grammar songs. "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".

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From "Conjunction, Junction", to "I'm Just a Bill", Dorough's upbeat tunes helped educate thousands of viewers about simple math functions, rules of grammar and the legislative process.

Dorough, a jazz pianist and vocalist, wrote his first "Schoolhouse Rock" tune after a NY advertising executive approached him in 1971. "Lou Reed's idea of hell would be to sit in heaven with Bob Dorough", McKay says, referencing the famously cantankerous NY rocker.

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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