Bob Dorough Dies: 'Schoolhouse Rock' Performer Was 94

Bob Dorough Dies: 'Schoolhouse Rock' Performer Was 94

Bob Dorough Dies: 'Schoolhouse Rock' Performer Was 94

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! Producer/comedian Judd Apatow took to Twitter to remember Bob Dorough as "a giant talent who made so many of us so happy as kids with Schoolhouse Rock".

Dorough died of natural causes at his home in Mount Bethel, Pennsylvania, according to The Associated Press.

He also wrote the song "Devil May Care", which jazz great Miles Davis recorded as an instrumental version. Rocks, recorded by indie artists that had no doubt grown up watching the series, was released in 1996.

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"Schoolhouse Rock!" got started in 1971 when Dorough was commissioned to put music to multiplication tables. His songs included such hits as "Conjunction Junction", a mediation on the usage of "and", "or" and "but"; "The Shot Heard Round the World", which traces the beginning of the American Revolution; and "Electricity, Electricity", a catchy lesson about various sources of power.

"Well, I hope I inspire case they want to become professionals, and if they don't even want to do that, at least I'll give them some fun", Dorough told 69 News during a 2013 interview at Kutztown Area Middle School, where he performed on stage with students.

Dorough told CNN that even in his 90s, adults would recognize his voice and that he would continue to get requests to sing some of his famous Schoolhouse Rock bits. "So I said, "Well, I'll give you this 'eight" song; I don't know if you'll like it or not.' And they flipped". The videos were re-aired again from 1993 to 1999.

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Granddaughter Corin Wolf told CNN on Tuesday that Mr. Dorough was diagnosed with cancer a year ago, but did not specify the exact cause of death. "And in my mind I thought, why not educate and entertain all ages", Dorough said. The 1990s revival was so popular that alternative acts of the era, including Buffalo Tom, Blind Melon, Moby, Better Than Ezra, and the Lemonheads came together to cover classic songs from the show for the 1996 compilation album Schoolhouse Rock Rocks.

In 1995 Dorough signed to a prominent jazz record label, Blue Note Records, with which he recorded three albums that firmly embedded his name in the music scene.

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