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Remembering Schoolhouse Rock’s Bob Dorough

Remembering Schoolhouse Rock’s Bob Dorough

Conjunction Junction what’s your function? … I bet I don’t need to go any further and you’re already signing along. It is very likely that most kids in a classroom as early as the 1970s are familiar with the famous lyrics of Schoolhouse Rock! Through the power of music, former jazz musician and musical director Bob Dorough helped millions of kids remember facts and figures.

Dorough’s first foray into education began in 1971, when he was inspired as a way to help his friend’s son learn his times tables – starting with the number 3 and inspiring his very first Schoolhouse Rock! tune, “Three is a Magical Number.”

Thanks to Dorough and ABC’s Schoolhouse Rock! we’ll forever remember the power of conjunctions, the meaning behind the suffragette movement, the purpose of adverbs (lolly, lolly, get your adverbs here!), the elements of the electoral college, a whole host of mathematical concepts, and so much more. Much like learning our ABCs, the catchy melodies of Dorough’s Schoolhouse Rock! tunes can be immediately recalled, bring a smile to my face, and transport me back to my middle school English and social studies classes, watching Conjunction Junction on the traveling TV cart (on VHS tapes) that rotated between classrooms.

Sadly, Dorough passed away at the age of 94 on April 23, 2018. His impact on learning through the power of music will forever live with us in our memories of elementary and middle school lessons. So, let’s celebrate Dorough’s life by humming along to your favorite Saturday morning, 3-minute Schoolhouse Rock! tune – here’s my favorite to get you started.