Pop Culture

'Schoolhouse Rock' fans mourn Bob Dorough, the man behind their favorite tunes

"Conjunction junction, what's your function?" "Lolly, get your adverbs here." "Three is a magic number."

Sound familiar? If you grew up watching Saturday morning cartoons sometime in the last 40-odd years, we bet those "Schoolhouse Rock" lyrics were impossible to miss — and even more impossible to forget.

Bob Dorough Press Kit / Youtube
Bob Dorough, who passed away on April 23, was a guiding light behind many of the songs on "Schoolhouse Rock."

The man behind them, Bob Dorough, died on April 23 at age 94 of natural causes, and thanks to Dorough, many of us know a whole lot more about "hooking up words and phrases and clauses" than we ever realized.

Dorough, who grew up in Philadelphia and served in World War II, had a solid jazz career playing for names like Miles Davis before being brought on board on and off from 1972-96 to write and perform many of the catchy, educational shorts for "Schoolhouse Rock."

He also served as musical director for much of the series, though he wasn't the only singer/songwriter involved: jazz musicians including Jack Sheldon (who sang "I'm Just a Bill") were also big contributors.

So, in honor of Dorough we have assembled five favorite hits that he wrote and sang. Sure, we do understand that "Three Is a Magic Number," which was the first tune in the series, but we just couldn't contain ourselves. Ready or not, here they come!

"Three Is a Magic Number" (1973)

"Conjunction Junction" (1973)

"The Shot Heard 'Round the World" (1975)

"My Hero, Zero" (1973)

"Lolly, Lolly, Lolly Get Your Adverbs Here" (1974)

Thanks, Bob! You were one of our greatest teachers, even if we didn't realize it at the time.

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