Bob Dorough, 94

(Publicity Photo by Jimmy Katz)

Bob Dorough, 94, April 23 in Mt. Bethel, PA. Noticing a talent for music his father, a bread truck driver in Texarkana, made an arrangement with a local grocer to give him piano lessons. He served with the Army Band during the war playing saxophone and clarinet as well as piano.

After attending the University of North Texas he pursued graduate studies in music at Columbia in 1949 and became involved in the New York Bebop scene. In 1954 he was part of a musical revue organized by boxer Sugar Ray Robinson. When the review was canceled he worked in Europe with Maya Angelou.

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After returning to New York he produced an album consisting of piano and voice which inspired the “vocalese” singing style. Miles Davis was and admirer and they worked together at times. His career took him to California and back before he came upon the project he would be best known for.

In 1971 he was hired to be a writer, performer and musical director for Schoolhouse Rock!, a role he continued until 1985. His songs for the program, such as “My Hero, Zero”, earned him a Grammy nomination. He continued to release albums, the most recent consisting of jazz standard was released in 2015.

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Joe Bebco is the Associate Editor of The Syncopated Times and Webmaster of

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