'Schoolhouse Rock' Composer Bob Dorough Dead At 94

Ignacio Smith
April 26, 2018

Composer, arranger and singer Bob Dorough died on April 24 in Mount Bethel, Pennsylvania. The title track was later recorded by MILES DAVIS, which has since become a jazz standard.

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

If you instantly start singing along, you're of that "Schoolhouse Rock" generation that learned lifelong lessons about civics, grammar, math and other school subjects through the catchy tunes and lyrics of musician Bob Dorough.

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His granddaughter Corin Wolf didn't disclose his exact cause of death but told CNN that Dorough was diagnosed with cancer a year ago.

According to his biography, the jazz musician "set the multiplication tables to music" as musical director for the educational cartoon. "Then I looked in the magic book and sure enough, three is one of the magic numbers". 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". That concept became the song "Three Is a Magic Number" and the project would become the Grammy-nominated Multiplication Rock.

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.

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"Schoolhouse Rock" songs premiered in 1973 and ran on ABC from 12 years.

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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