Bob Dorough is an American original. The 89 year-old jazz pianist has recorded 22 albums of his own, and worked with such legends as Miles Davis, Allen Ginsberg, and Mose Allison.
But you know him for something else, entirely.
In the early 1970s, Dorough was asked to write songs about multiplication tables for a yet-to-be-named children's program. His first effort, 'Three is a Magic Number' is now legendary, and led to dozens of other compositions that formed the basis for one of the most beloved educational entertainment icons of our time.
On Sunday evening, the Millenium Stage at the Kennedy Center celebrated the 40th Anniversary of Schoolhouse Rock!, which was based in large part on Dorough's work. I took my daughter, and while she loved it, I bet I enjoyed it even more. In addition to 'Three', Dorough wrote such classics as 'Conjunction Junction', 'Lolly, Lolly, Lolly Get Your Adverbs Here', 'The Shot Heard Round the World' and 'Electricity'. He performed several of these, then teamed with local kid-rock (definitely not Kid Rock) band Rocknocerous on the grand finale, 'Interjections'.
Did I mention that he's 89 years young? The video of the performance is 45 minutes long (and I can't figure out how to embed it), but if you let it play in background while you work, I guarantee you'll be more productive than normal. And you'll have a smile on your face.