Bob Dorough, Jazz Musician Best Known For 'Schoolhouse Rock!,' Dead At 94

Bob Dorough

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He released his first album, "Devil May Care", in 1956, and the title track would go on to be covered by Miles Davis, among others.

Bob Dorough songs helped teach children about grammar and government on ABC's "Schoolhouse Rock".

Bob Dorough, the jazzman who created the clever and enduring Schoolhouse Rock toons that taught grammar, math, science, and citizenship to a generation of TV-watching kids, has died.

The 94 year old musician got his start in the NY jazz scene of the 1950s and '60s, but may be best known for his work for the educational cartoon series "Schoolhouse Rock!".

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.

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

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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".

"After the fully Dorough-penned Multiplication Rock, the series" contributors expanded to include Lynn Ahrens, Dave Frishberg (writer of "I'm Just a Bill") and George Newall, with Dorough staying on as musical director.

Then-ABC executive Michael Eisner turned the songs into a series of animated videos that appeared between Saturday morning cartoon shows for 12 years.

Rhino Records issued a four-CD box set of Schoolhouse Rock tunes in 1996, and Disney produced a two-DVD set for the series' 30th anniversary in 2002, featuring 52 of the 64 episodes.

Dorough remained active all his life.

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