"Schoolhouse Rock" musician Dorough dies at 94

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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".

From "Conjunction, Junction", to "I'm Just a Bill", Dorough's upbeat tunes helped educate thousands of viewers about simple math functions, rules of grammar and the legislative process.

His son, Chris, says 94-year-old Bob Dorough died of natural causes Monday at his home in Mount Bethel, Pennsylvania. Originally intended as a school workbook, the concept was pitched and sold to ABC executive Michael Eisner, becoming the first of the long-running Schoolhouse Rock! series of educational cartoons that became an all-but inseparable part of of '70s and '80s childhood.

Bob Dorough, born in Arkansas and "raised" in Texas, immediately fell in love with music upon joining the Plainview Texas High School Band. He began his musical career serving as a composer, arranger and player in the Special Services Army Band between 1943 and 1945.

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After earning a Bachelor Of Music degree at the University of North Texas (1949), he made a beeline for New York City, where he took classes at Columbia University and immersed himself in the volatile jazz scene then taking place there - the bebop revolution.

Not long after the release of Devil May Care, the legendary Miles Davis recorded his own interpretation of its title track, which would go on to become a jazz standard.

Dorough, a jazz pianist and vocalist, wrote his first "Schoolhouse Rock" tune after a NY advertising executive approached him in 1971. You'd say, 'Hey, Miles, I really dug that set!' and he wouldn't stop.

"We had a captive audience - every Saturday, kids were eating cereal and watching cartoons, and some of them found 'Schoolhouse Rock!' and got stuck on it", he said.

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