Bob Dorough of 'Schoolhouse Rock' dead at 94

Bob Dorough a jazz pianist and the man behind The Schoolhouse Rock series of the 70's sits by a piano in 2011 at the Deer Head Inn in Delaware Water Gap

Dorough died Monday (April 23) at his home in Mt. Bethel, PA, local ABC affiliate WNEP reports.

Dorough was a conductor, accompany player, arranger and conductor for a number of years before recording his first effort of his own, "Devil May Care", in 1956 for the Bethlehem label. When I spoke with Dorough years ago, he was kind, playful and delighted that the shorts had such a lasting impact on Generation X and beyond.

"Schoolhouse Rock" songs premiered in 1973 and ran on ABC from 12 years.

Bob Dorough, the musician behind many iconic educational songs from the "Schoolhouse Rock!". The Saturday morning cartoon combined animation with catchy songs that helped teach children subjects like math, grammar, and history. There are other great installments with other performers, such as Jack Sheldon ("I'm Just a Bill"), Lynn Ahrens ("Interplanet Janet"), Blossom Dearie and others, but we're focusing on Dorough's contributions here.

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Other famous works Dorough contributed to many a childhood were "Conjunction Junction", "Electricity, Electricity" and "Lolly, Lolly, Lolly, Get Your Adverbs Here". Miles Davis then invited Dorough to record with him after hearing the album, asking him to provide lyrics and vocals for a Christmas LP.

Watch "Three Is a Magic Number" From 'Schoolhouse Rock!'

Dorough, a jazz pianist and vocalist, wrote his first "Schoolhouse Rock" tune after a NY advertising executive approached him in 1971.

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.

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