Blue Notes

Bob Dorough: The Story Behind "Schoolhouse Rock"

By the late '60s, despite a long and varied career that included the albums Devil May Care and Yardbird Suite, associations with Miles Davis and Allen Ginsberg, and perfecting the art of "vocalese" - assigning lyrics to the melodies of instrumental jazz solos - Bob Dorough could see the writing on the wall.

In the sphere of popular music, jazz was receding in the face of rock and roll and folk music, losing the ears and the interest of many young fans. But Dorough, who plays Bohemeo's Sunday, wasn't done. His gift with numbers and a fortuitous meeting with an advertising executive (himself a failed musician) would soon make the pianist and singer a star all over again -- in a manner of speaking.

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Chris Gray has been Music Editor for the Houston Press since 2008. He is the proud father of a Beatles-loving toddler named Oliver.
Contact: Chris Gray