Legendary ‘Schoolhouse Rock’ Composer And Musician Bob Dorough Has Died At Age 94

schoolhouse rock

If you ask many adults what their favorite way to learn as children was, they’d say the same thing: with Schoolhouse RockThe animated musical shorts actually made learning fun! The educational songs and clips covered a variety of topics, from government, to grammar, to math and history.

The composer (and performer) of Schoolhouse Rock!, Bob Dorough, passed away April 23, 2018, at the age of 94. Bob worked as a pianist, singer, composer, producer, songwriter, and arranger throughout his career, but he is most well-known for his work on Schoolhouse Rock!


bob dorough
Wikimedia / Brianmcmillen

Bob worked with other incredible artists through the years, like Miles Davis, Sugar Ray Robinson, and Blossom Dearie.

Robert Lrod Dorough began his life in Cherry Hill, Arkansas in 1923. His family then moved to Plainview, Texas, where Bob grew up.


During the Second World War, Bob was part of many army bands. After the war, he went to North Texas State University.

He then went on to become a jazz pianist in New York City. From 1972 to 1996, Bob wrote and directed episodes of Schoolhouse Rock! In the 2000s, he worked on the DVD versions of these episodes.

It's Time Machine Tuesday on @thecurrent This morning they played "Three is a Magic Number" by jazz legend Bob Dorough, who died yesterday at the age of 94. A tribute to Bob, the "American bebop and cool jazz pianist, singer, composer, songwriter, arranger and producer", the Current honored his achievement for the 1970s classic (and educational) cartoon, Schoolhouse Rock. Finding myself getting stirred up this morning listening to Bob sing the multiples of three. Learning is much better when you make it into a song! How many of us learned our threes, memorized the 50 states and understood the Bill of Rights because of Schoolhouse Rock? I am thankful for you, Bob for making a difference in my life through your art. #inspirationtuesdays #timemachinetuesdays #thecurrent #mpls #artinallforms #bobdorough #childhoodmems #schoolhouserock #threeisamagicnumber #bigalsship

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The extraordinary performer passed away in his home in Mount Bethel, Pennsylvania.

If you loved Schoolhouse Rock!, make sure you share this article with your friends. And don’t forget to watch the video of “I’m Just A Bill” below, to honor Bob’s memory.


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