'Schoolhouse Rock' composer and Pa. resident Bob Dorough dead at age 94

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The title track was later recorded by MILES DAVIS, which has since become a jazz standard.

Born in Arkansas, Dorough was able to make a living as a pianist and composer from the time he moved to NY in 1949.

Bob Dorough, the jazz musician who wrote numerous best-loved Schoolhouse Rock songs, has died at age 94.

Bob Dorough performing at Joe's Pub in NY on March 9, 2014.

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The 94 year old musician got his start in the NY jazz scene of the 1950s and '60s, but may be best known for his work for the educational cartoon series "Schoolhouse Rock!". He performed all the multiplication songs, and collaborated on the history, science, and grammar songs.

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.

Dorough, a jazz pianist and vocalist, wrote his first "Schoolhouse Rock" tune after a NY advertising executive approached him in 1971. "Then I looked in the magic book and sure enough, three is one of the magic numbers". 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. "Conjunction junction, what's your function?" "Lou Reed's idea of hell would be to sit in heaven with Bob Dorough", McKay says, referencing the famously cantankerous NY rocker.

Later in life Dorough served as a mentor to British-American singer, actress and comedian Nellie McKay and continued to play music in the weeks leading up to his death.

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