Bob Dorough, 'Schoolhouse Rock!' Performer and Writer, Dies at 94

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Musician Bob Dorough, who contributed to the creation of Schoolhouse Rock!, died in Mt. Bethel, Pa., his family announced.

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. Dorough would become the series' musical director, and the show was composed of many of his original songs such as "Three Is a Magic Number".

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. An advertising executive got the idea when he saw how his son remembered song lyrics but not math. Dorough wrote "Three is a Magic Number" first and eventually wrote the entire Multiplication Rock collection.

"Schoolhouse Rock" first premiered in 1973 and ran on ABC for 12 years. It came back in the 1990s for five more years.

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Dorough, who is 89 and still performs, said he gets requests from adults to sing some of the bits because they grew up on them - often times recognizing his voice.

Bob Dorough, whose career began as a composer, arranger and singer in the booming NY jazz scene of the '50s and '60s before he became the musical keystone of Schoolhouse Rock!

"However, what surprised me most was the impact of network television, which kicked in years later, after we'd been on air at ABC-TV".

A funeral is tentatively scheduled for next Monday.

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