Bob Dorough of "Schoolhouse Rock" is dead at 94

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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.

"Schoolhouse Rock" founder Bob Dorough has died at the age of 94 on Monday. In the late '40s, Dorough made his way to NY, working there as a pianist and singer.

"Schoolhouse Rock" first premiered in 1973 and ran on ABC for 12 years.


Not long after the release of Devil May Care, the legendary Miles Davis recorded his own interpretation of its title track, which would go on to become a jazz standard.

Born on December 12, 1923, in Cherry Hill, AR, Dorough was a jazz musician in the early 1970s when a NY ad man complained that his young sons couldn't do multiplication and wanted to have the times tables set to music because the kids could recite every rock lyric of the era.

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


"I'm just a bill".

He told NPR back in 2013 that his boss approached him because his sons couldn't remember "their times tables - yet they sing along with Jimi Hendrix and the Rolling Stones, and they get their words". He wrote all of the Multiplication Rock series (including "Three is a Magic Number", famously sampled by De La Soul), and Grammar Rock classics "Conjunction Junction" and "Lolly, Lolly Lolly, Get Your Adverbs Here", as well as songs for America Rock, Science Rock, Money Rock, and Earth Rock.

Watch a few of Bob's most famous Schoolhouse Rock clips, and listen to '90s indie rock tribute Schoolhouse Rocks Rocks (with Pavement, The Lemonheads, Biz Markie and more), below.


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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