Bob Dorough Documentary

“Bob Dorough: Three is a Magic Number” tells the extraordinary tale of seminal bebop pianist, vocalist, composer, and producer Bob Dorough’s life and career.

Bob is best known as the musical mastermind behind the hit ABC children’s TV show, Schoolhouse Rock!, but his career has blazed a trail through eight extraordinary decades.

When we meet him, Bob is focussed on two things: his next gig and writing new songs. That’s not uncommon for any musician, but Bob is 90 years old — and launching one of his most prolific decades ever.

In his astonishingly eclectic and vibrant career, Bob’s played with Charlie Parker and Louis Armstrong; composed for beat poets Ferlinghetti and Ginsberg; toured with Lenny Bruce; travelled as the musical director for boxer Sugar Ray Robinson; produced records for The Fugs; and cut two tunes with jazz legend Miles Davis.

One of the most hard-working and unique bebop singer/songwriters of American jazz, Bob has written, published and performed well over 100 songs. Many have been performed by Tony Bennett, Nina Simone, Art Garfunkel, Natalie Cole, Roberta Flack, Maya Angelou, Diana Krall, Mel Torme, Michael Buble, Clark Terry, Herbie Mann, Blind Melon, Blossom Dearie.

More than a documentary about jazz, Three is a Magic Number is a moving story about passion, aging and art.

For more information about Bob, visit

Schoolhouse Rock!

Schoolhouse Rock! debuted in 1973.Three is a Magic Number was the pilot episode of the series, written and sung by Bob Dorough.    

Find out more about Schoolhouse Rock!.
Bob & producing partner George Newall discuss the genesis of Schoolhouse Rock! and it’s importance in American popular culture.

BFN_Schoolhouse_Rock_clip-1 from mabooshi film on Vimeo.


“Bob Dorough’s story inspires in us the power of music to change
our mood, even our world, and how to age without getting old:

He’s all eternal youth and love for life, with a ponytail,
a toothy smile and an intoxicating charisma.”

– New York Times