'Schoolhouse Rock' founder Bob Dorough dead at 94

R.I.P. 'Schoolhouse Rock!' Composer Bob Dorough

Dorough was born in Arkansas on December 12, 1923, and raised in Texas.

Bob Dorough, the creator of "Schoolhouse Rock" passed away at age 94.

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. He performed all the multiplication songs, and collaborated on the history, science, and grammar songs.

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.

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The song spawned the album Multiplication Rock and the concept was later sold to ABC executive Michael Eisner, ultimately becoming the first iteration of Schoolhouse Rock!.

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. The movie and TV database IMDB says Dorough's credits from the series include memorable tunes like "Three Is a Magic Number", "Verb: That's What's Happening", and "Lolly, Lolly, Lolly, Get Your Adverbs Here". Rocks, recorded by indie artists that had no doubt grown up watching the series, was released in 1996.

Later in life, Dorough became a mentor to the British-American singer, actress and comedian Nellie McKay, whom he first met in 1997, McKay tells NPR. "Lou Reed's idea of hell would be to sit in heaven with Bob Dorough", McKay says, referencing the famously cantankerous NY rocker.

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