Dorough, Bob (actually, Robert)

views updated

Dorough, Bob (actually, Robert)

Dorough, Bob (actually, Robert), jazz pianist, singer, writer; b. Cherry Hill, Ark., Dec. 12, 1923. Dorough studied composition and piano at North Tex. State Teachers’ Coll., the first American school with a jazz curriculum. He moved to N.Y. in 1949, studying at Columbia Univ. through 1952. During the early 1950s, Dorough accompanied boxer Sugar Ray Robinson’s musical revue, then performed in Paris with Blossom Dearie and her Blue Stars. He returned to N.Y. in 1955, and recorded his first session as a leader a year later, featuring his vocal tribute to Charlie Parker, “Yardbird Suite,” He got his next big break in 1962 when Miles Davis asked him to write some songs for his band, resulting in the decidedly unsentimental Christmas Tune “Blue Xmas” as well as “Nothing Like You”; the latter did not appear on disc until Davis’s 1967 album Sorcerer. He wrote and performed many of the songs, such as “Multiplication Rock/7 for the popular children’s educational cartoon series Schoolhouse Rock in the 1970s; Rhino Records released a four-CD box set of these much-loved tunes in 1996. He continues to tour on the jazz circuit, and released his first “new” album in a decade on a major label in 1997. He lives in the Delaware Water Gap area of Pa.


Devil May Care (1956, 1982); Yardbird Suite (1956); Oliver (Songs from the Hit Show) (1963); Just About Even/thing (1966); Beginning to See the Light (1976); That’s the Way I Feel Now: A Tribute to Thelonious Monk (1984); Memorial to Charlie Parker (with Phil Woods; 1985); Skabadabba (1987); Schoolhouse Rock! (1996); Right on My Way (1997).

—Lewis Porter

About this article

Dorough, Bob (actually, Robert)

Updated About content Print Article