RIP Bob Dorough, musical director of 'Schoolhouse Rock'


Originally published at:




…And now he has been placed on his side and is investigating infinity…

(too soon?)


Also one the very few (only?) singers to appear on a Miles Davis album.


I get a very Randy Newman vibe from him.


He left this world knowing proof positive that he made it a better place.




RIP. Schoolhouse Rock left me with a lot of good memories, and information. Just ask Wade Watts :smiley:


“We, the people, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

Thank you, Mr. Dorough – Schoolhouse Rock permanently tattooed these lines on my brain.


“Adjective are words that we use to describe things, like people, places, and things”
“Verb! That’s what’s happening!”
“Every triangle has three corners, every triangle has three sides, no more, no less, and you don’t have to guess”
“3,6,9,12,15,18,21,24,27…30! Now dig the pattern once more!”

The Magic Number is such a wonderful song, the lyrics with that melody has a much more mature vibe than most other kids music. Blind Mellon (not a group I otherwise follow) did a really nice version in the 90s and of course De La co-owns the tune up in my noggin.

For kids watching cartoons in that time, his impact is kind of like the last episode of MASH: everyone watched it because there were only 3 networks, so the choice was obvious. With School House Rock, you didn’t even need to pick it, or make sure you were in fromt of the TV at a certain time to catch it, you just got it.
Every kid coast to coast watched saturday morning cartoons. Every. Single. Kid.
Between the 3 networks, at some point during the schedule, they watched at least one ABC cartoon show, and his music was broadcast every week, during every show, for years. That’s an impact greater than almost every full-length show, cartoon or no. And thank goodness! It could’ve been, I dunno, Mitch Miller or something. This guy really touched our lives in possibly the most meaningful way something that lasts less than a minute can touch a person’s life.



Poor little Bill, though. He died in a dark alley at the hands of some telcom and pharma bro lobbyists.


“I just a Bill”


I did not know that.


Well said. Pre-cable generations share the common bond of Saturday Morning TV across racial, class and geographic boundaries.

We woke up early despite no school and stayed inside - even on sunny days- 'til the last Sid N Marty Krofft show of the day, what, about noon:30? to gorge on cartoons or weird live action crap. Eating cereal.

It was bliss. . . at least in my memory. . .
NO WAY would i let a kid of mine live like that now!!!


p.s. Figure 8 melody and words make me cry. RIP


Thx for posting. Look up his solo jazz/vocalist work. Top notch, hilarious, sexy, sophisticated


I remember having to memorize the Preamble in 8th grade. I started reading it and realized “wait… I know this.”


Blossom Dearie (who died 5 or 10 years ago) sang “Adjectives” and “Figure 8.” She also sang this, back on the 50s or 60s I guess… which I suppose the topic is always timely, but especially the past couple weeks:


Bernie says we sign, we sssiiigggggnnnnn.

huh. zat so.


@thisismydisaster is right, Figure 8 was always fantastic. Thanks for putting her name to it and giving us this material, it’s great. Never knew. Love, love, love that arrangement, too.

Found out she was on this, also. I wonder if she’s playing the keys, too. I know it from the Handsome Boy Modeling School cover version, which is also a Prince Paul (co) production; kind of full-circle as he did “The Magic Number” for De La, which I mentioned earlier.