It's with a sense of melancholy that I note the passing of Bob Dorough at the age of 94. Bob was the genius behind the Schoolhouse Rock! series of three minute educational musical vignettes. These wonderful cartoons combined Mr Dorough's jazzy musical stylings with important factual content.
To this day, I can't recite the preamble to the US Constitution without hearing this tune:
The Schoolhouse Rock! series was some of the classiest children's television content ever broadcast. Bob Dorough's catchy songs illuminated science and engineering:
They described grammatical concepts:
The first of Bob Donough's Saturday morning educational songs was 1973's Three Is a Magic Number:
The song was adapted by hip-hop group De La Soul in a fun track:
Here's a video of Bob Dorough performing the song live, after his explanation of the series genesis:
Bob Dorough collaborated with Miles Davis and, oddly enough, Sugar Ray Robinson, but for me he will always be as much of an educator as a jazz man, and I am grateful to him for this.