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Bob Dorough

  • Birthplace: Cherry Hill, Arkansas
  • Birthday: December 12
Date of passing: 
April 23, 2018

Obituary

Obituary: 

Bob Dorough was an American jazz vocalist, pianist, composer, songwriter, arranger and producer.

From 1949 to 1952 Dorough was a graduate student at Columbia University in New York City, and on the side played piano at local jazz clubs. From 1954 to 1955 he worked in Paris as a musician and musical director, recording with jazz vocalist Blossom Dearie.

Bob Dorough was an American jazz vocalist, pianist, composer, songwriter, arranger and producer.

From 1949 to 1952 Dorough was a graduate student at Columbia University in New York City, and on the side played piano at local jazz clubs. From 1954 to 1955 he worked in Paris as a musician and musical director, recording with jazz vocalist Blossom Dearie.

When Dorough returned to the United States, he moved to Los Angeles, where he performed in various clubs, including a job between sets by comedian Lenny Bruce. His first album, Devil May Care, came out in 1956. Jazz trumpeter Miles Davis liked the album, and in 1962, when Columbia Records asked Davis to make a Christmas record, he sought out Dorough to provide lyrics and vocals. “Blue Xmas” appeared on the compilation album Jingle Bell Jazz. During that session Dorough recorded another song for Davis, "Nothing Like You," which appeared a few years later at the end of the Sorcerer album, making Dorough one of the few musicians with a vocal performance on a Miles Davis record.

From 1972 to 1996, Dorough wrote and directed episodes of Schoolhouse Rock!, an educational animated series that appeared on television. Dorough wrote numerous songs for the series, including the classic “Conjunction Junction,” sung by jazz trumpeter and vocalist Jack Sheldon.

He continued to do occasional work intended for children. He wrote an illustrated book of “Blue Xmas” and three songs to accompany Maureen Sullivan's books about Carlos the French bulldog: Ankle Soup, Custard and Mustard, and Christmas Feet.

Dorough died April 23, 2018, in Mount Bethel, Pennsylvania. He was 94.

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