Editor’s Note: Bob Dorough, the jazz musician who helped create the children’s educational program “Schoolhouse Rock” and was its primary composer and musical director, died April 23 at age 94.
Jazz month … we lose a great one.
Bob Dorough. I was very lucky to have played music with this great one.
I met Bob through my other great and no longer here friend, Eric Doney. I was playing the Cotafest with Eric up in the Delaware Gap in the late 90’s. It was and still is a great festival! I heard that voice. Memories of “Schoolhouse Rock” played in my head immediately! But there was so much more. The Eric Doney Trio … Eric, Will Lee and myself were playing at the Deerhead Inn and Bob sat in with Will and I. We played his version of Moon River, still my favorite version. He tore it up! My smile lasted for days!
A few years later, friend and great bassist Steve Gilmore asked me to play with Bob at the Gulf Coast Jazz Society Jazz Festival in Panama City. It was an awesome two days!
I was able to bring Bob to Florida a couple of times to play. A few years ago, when Picasso’s Jazz Club was up and running, Bob came down to play there as a VIP artist jazz series. I was able to bring him to the Montesorri School of Pensacola for a concert for the students. I remember seeing the parents bringing “Schoolhouse Rock” books, CDs and shirts to have Bob sign!
He loved it! In April of 2016, jazz month, Bob came to perform during a spring break concert at Rosemary Beach. It was a chilly night, small crowd, but huge Bob Dorough fans! I heard people saying, “I can’t believe he’s here!”
We did another concert the next night at the Mattie Kelly Arts Center at Northwest Florida State College. It was another great one.
As was Bob.