Published: Thu, April 26, 2018
Research | By Dana Schwartz

'Schoolhouse Rock' Composer Bob Dorough Dead At 94

'Schoolhouse Rock' Composer Bob Dorough Dead At 94

Dorough served in the Special Services Army Band during World War II, and earned a degree in music from the University of North Texas before moving to NY to become a pianist and singer.

Jazz composer singer BOB DOROUGH, who became the musical force of SCHOOLHOUSE ROCK!, died MONDAY afternoon in MT. BETHEL, PA, at the age of 94, NPR reports.

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

"Dorough collaborated with Davis on the serrated holiday song "Blue Xmas (To Whom It May Concern)" and later sang on "Nothing Like You", the closing track of Davis" 1967 album Sorcerer.

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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In 1971, Dorough was working a day job at a NY advertising company when his boss asked him to set the multiplication tables to music, figuring if kids could remember rock lyrics, it might help them learn math, according to NPR.

While working a day job at an advertising company in 1971, Dorough's boss asked him to set multiplication tables to music and he penned the song "Three Is a Magic Number".

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

Dorough ended up writing "Three's a Magic Number". Rocks, recorded by indie artists that had no doubt grown up watching the series, was released in 1996. "Conjunction junction, what's your function?"

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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