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

Bob Dorough of 'Schoolhouse Rock' is dead at 94 - Hawaii News Now

Bob Dorough of 'Schoolhouse Rock' is dead at 94 - Hawaii News Now

He also wrote the song "Devil May Care", which jazz great Miles Davis recorded as an instrumental version.

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.

A musician whose songs helped teach children on ABC's "Schoolhouse Rock" has died.

We invite you to share condolences for Bob Dorough in our Guest Book.

Born on December 12, 1923, in Cherry Hill, AR, Dorough was a jazz musician in the early 1970s when a NY ad man complained that his young sons couldn't do multiplication and wanted to have the times tables set to music because the kids could recite every rock lyric of the era. He performed all the multiplication songs, and collaborated on the history, science, and grammar songs. It was revived from 1993 to 1999.

"I got the idea that three is a magic number", Dorough told NPR's Rachel Martin in 2013.

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

Dorough turned that concept into a ditty called "Three Is a Magic Number", and it became the first step for a project first known as "Multiplication Rock" and, later, "Schoolhouse Rock".

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

The musician who taught thousands of kids about the function of conjunction junction died Monday.

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.

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