Dorough believed the songs resonated with so many because, "even though they were in a "rock" or "pop" bag, my jazz sensibilities and the fine musicians I used for the audio recordings made the songs seem unusual to the Saturday morning cartoon listener", he told CNN in 2013.
Born in Cherry Hill, Ark., on December 12, 1923, Dorough grew up in Texas, where he first learned how to play music.
Then, in 1971, with the jazz money running thin, Dorough was asked by his boss at the advertising company where he had a day job for to set the multiplication tables to music; his boss cited his children's ability to remember Hendrix and Rolling Stones lyrics, but not their school lessons. DOROUGH served as the Music Director of a 40th anniversary DVD edition of the entire, five-subject series.
Bob Dorough, the creator of "Schoolhouse Rock" passed away at age 94. He released a number of solo albums, including three for Blue Note Records. "Then I looked in the magic book and sure enough, three is one of the magic numbers". Dorough sang most of the "Schoolhouse Rock" songs. He performed all the multiplication songs, and collaborated on the history, science, and grammar songs.
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Dorough continued performing, but in the 1990s started noticing adults were requesting the "Schoolhouse Rock" songs at his shows after they recognized his voice. The movie and TV database IMDB says Dorough's credits from the series include memorable tunes like "Three Is a Magic Number", "Verb: That's What's Happening", and "Lolly, Lolly, Lolly, Get Your Adverbs Here".
When not working on Schoolhouse Rock!
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.