Dorough served in the Special Services Army Band during World War II, and earned a degree in music from the University of North Texas before moving to NY to become a pianist and singer. Devil May Care was a document of loungey bebop, with Dorough's windy, charming and idiosyncratically accented singing of buoyant lyrics that hinted at his success to come.
He also wrote the song "Devil May Care", which jazz great Miles Davis recorded as an instrumental version.
In 1971, Dorough was working a day job at a NY advertising company when his boss asked him to set the multiplication tables to music, figuring if kids could remember rock lyrics, it might help them learn math, according to NPR. DOROUGH served as the Music Director of a 40th anniversary DVD edition of the entire, five-subject series.
The song spawned the album Multiplication Rock and the concept was later sold to ABC executive Michael Eisner, ultimately becoming the first iteration of Schoolhouse Rock!. It was revived from 1993 to 1999.
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Dorough ended up writing "Three's a Magic Number".
The musician who taught thousands of kids about the function of conjunction junction died Monday.
Dorough believed the songs resonated with so many because, "even though they were in a "rock" or "pop" bag, my jazz sensibilities and the fine musicians I used for the audio recordings made the songs seem unusual to the Saturday morning cartoon listener", he told CNN in 2013.
Dorough remained active all his life.
Dorough himself continued to play live for the rest of his life - at 92, Dorough performed "Devil May Care" for member station WBGO - and as recently as three weeks ago in upstate NY.