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

26 April, 2018, 00:41 | Author: Kristi Owen
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Bob Dorough, the creator of "Schoolhouse Rock" passed away at age 94.

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. Devil May Care was a document of loungey bebop, with Dorough's windy, charming and idiosyncratically accented singing of buoyant lyrics that hinted at his success to come.

A jazz pianist and vocalist, Dorough is best known for writing "Three's a Magic Number" the song which spawned the educational, musical cartoon series Schoolhouse Rock. DOROUGH served as the Music Director of a 40th anniversary DVD edition of the entire, five-subject series.


Dorough wrote and/or performed many of them, not including "I'm Just a Bill", which famously was spoofed on Saturday Night Live in 2014. The artist's songs helped educate children on the long-running ABC cartoon series.

Miles Davis later recorded his own version of Devil May Care's title track and the two collaborated on multiple projects including the holiday song "Blue Xmas (To Whom It May Concern)". "Conjunction junction, what's your function?"

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. 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.

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