Tributes to the Family

Please take a moment to write a message to Bob and/or his family. We know he was extremely well loved by all, though you know he would say “Not everyone, and not always” (;


“I am saddened to read of Bob Dorough’s passing. Not only did I enjoy his music, his unique voice, I also got a glimpse of what kind of guy he was when I went to hear him in Delaware Water Gap at the Deer Head and at the arts festivals. One incident I will always remember–I was driving on 7th Street in Stroudsburg. My mother was sitting next to me. She had Alzheimer’s and driving with her always made me very nervous. The light changed and I started to pull onto Main Street when I saw that there was a tall man crossing in front of me. I slammed on the brakes and my face must have registered absolute horror. The man turned and smiled, I think he almost laughed. “That was Bob Dorough, I almost ran over Bob Dorough!” I yelled. He could have been so angry. He was forgiving and warm, funny, loving, like his music. When you were in maybe fifth grade you and my daughter, Rebecca, had a play date at your house. I guess the two of you didnt enjoy it much, no repeats. Congratulations on your successful career as a flutist!” – Zandra Moberg Price

“Yea, ‘Making Swishy’ – on trips riding with Bob, Dad, and my brother from the city to the poconos. . ” (maybe you recall the mouth rinsing ritual your dad did in the car, with you, my brother and I? I had a moment today when I picked up my sax, thinking, oh sh–t, now both dad and Bob can hear me finding my way…. remarking or thinkin “practice makes better”…or something…smile (knowing full well that I have been doing the tri profession thing pushing 40 years..). Me, with much tears and gratitude for Bob’s continued place in my life. Take care of you Aralee. Love you over yonda’ sister, Jos” – Josylyn Segal

“My condolences to Sally and family. All I can say at the moment is that matured wisdom and balanced emotion are rare traits, but even more rare is a near-perfect integration of the two. I saw that ordered common-man intelligence accompanied with deep aesthetic feeling in Bob Dorough. Matured wisdom and balanced emotion are rare traits, but even more rare is a perfected integration of the two. Seldom does nature produce in the same individual an ordered common-man intelligence accompanied with deep aesthetic feeling. But such a one was Bob Dorough, who in the short time I knew him, lived wisely and beautifully and who seemed to oppose any other manner of living.” – Jay Sanchez

“My friend and musical hero will be so missed….Bob taught me so much about many things,….my debt to him will continue to gain interest! Thanks Bob, for all the fun times and great music.” – Walt Bibinger

“Buddha Bob is how I always thought of him and still do. Or a gold-nugget shining at the bottom of a river, not always visible to people who hung out on the surface, but to those who knew where to look, a beacon of light and joy, an exemplar of kindness, wholesome sweetness and a love of life that is truly rare. Let’s not forget, a consummate artist gigging and mentoring youngsters a quarter of his age. A deep bow, Bob. I treasure our last conversation.” – Peter Coyote

” ” – Shaun Mullen

“I loved Bob Dorough before Multiplication Rock. I loved him for But for Now, for Baltimore Oriole, for Polka Dots and Moonbeams…
I loved his diction, his humorous phrasing, his loving love when he sang.
Once he came to Philadelphia to appear at our local ABC studios for an interview. I went there and met him, with my Bob Dorough album in tow. He saw the album in my hand and autographed it. After the interview at my request he followed me home and I gave him a small lunch. My six year old daughter came home from school and Bob Dorough sat at my piano and played and sang for her One Is a Magic Number. You can imagine her delight and surprise. She never forgot that. Her children went on to adore him. In fact it was my grandson, her son, who informed me of Mr. Dorough’s passing.
I saw him perform when he came to Philadelphia and own and listen to his albums. No way not to be cheered up when I do that. I sent him greeting cards every Christmas.
Love that man. I will miss him. But there is always his music. I could write so much more. G-d bless him and give comfort to his family and friends for their loss.” – Janet Cantor “Honey”

“I always admired Uncle Bob…for his musical talent, his wit, his love of life, his beautiful flute playing daughter….my cousin, Aralee. His spirit will live on.” – Vicki Taylor

“Dear Family, I am just one of the many musicians and fans who Bob shined his lovely light on. I met him mainly at the old IAJE conferences every January in New York and he never failed to be sweet and encouraging to me as a jazz singer and songwriter. We were on two songwriter Panels together, the last one in 2016– and because I was such a fan of his, it thrilled me no end. I distinctly remember being in the corner of a room at IAJE and watching him greet his many nervous fans and fellow musicians and with each one he was gracious and full of the “sun”- I was lucky enough to have him sing one of my songs “Cool” with my co-writer Marilyn Harris on her CD– and Cheryl Bentyne and I have just recorded “Devil May Care” for our new CD. But, the thing I remember most outside of his great talent was his lovely spirit and the wonderful way he treated every one he met. A great man!” – Mark Winkler

“My grandfather, Stephen Kanych worked at Shawnee Press as the copyright manager for more than 50 years. His love of music and spending Saturday nights at the Deerhead Inn listening to our wonderful local jazz icons filtered down to all of us in the family . My mother, Steve’s daughter Stephanie introduced me to Bob when I was quite young, and I was hooked. Both on his music and his kindness. Seeing Bob play at the Deerhead and at the COTA festival became much looked forward to events. We have lost much in his passing, but at the same time gained so much in the legacy he left us. Generations to come will find his music, his songs, and be newly inspired because once, here among us, there was a man named Bob Dorough.” – Alisa Keiper

“In the early 1990’s I had the blessing of being able to host a visit by Bob Dorough. He turned out to be a key figure in a big “Jazz in Education” program made possible by funding from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts– but made even more possible by a willingness of a great musician and many of his friends to share their knowledge and love of music with thousands of students in very rural Potter, Mckean and Cameron Counties of Pennsylvania. Besides the incredible sharing I was quite taken by a discussion I had with Bob Dorough when he told me how proud he was of his daughter who had just been named principal flautist for the Houston Symphony. His energy, musicianship, creativity, love of humanity and willingness to share have no doubt had a profound influence on many, me included.” – Arthur Metzger

“I have been involved with the Dorough family for many years since Aralee, Bob’s daughter, is one of my oldest and closest friends. What I will miss the most about Bob are the inviting quality of his voice and the beaming of his beautiful smile. I feel fortunate that he was a part of my life!” – Linda Goldstein

“Schoolhouse Rock was one of my favorite memories of childhood, and without a doubt it solidified my love of music since then. If not for Bob Dorough, perhaps my love and appreciation of music, especially jazz, would never be where it is today. My condolences to the entire family.” – Jared Schiebel

“I am confused by the requirements of this page so I will say what I need to say at the memorial service if I am able enough to attend. Bob was a highlight for 61 years in my life and I pray that Sally and Aralee and all of the family and friends will find strength in the knowledge that they shared their life with such a gentle and caring person. There is a song by Willie Nelson called” You won’t get over this but you will get through it”. I will see you at the memorial service, God willing.” – Sue and Pete Peterson

““Who is that cool, hip guy watching our band with the hugest smile and ponytail?” That was the first memory I have of Bob Dorough. He was so proud sitting there watching his daughter play in the school band and every performance he was there. I know I felt so honored to have him in the audience, just another parent. *smile* I remember him wearing “that hat”, and I had to have one. I would wear it when I practiced my clarinet. I never became first seat, but I was second seat. Just adored Mr. Dorough. Thank you, always gracious Aralee, for sharing him with us, BASD class of ‘79. Love him always”   – Sandy Heffelfinger

“The world has lost an amazing man. Bob was as nice as they come. Since Elementary school I knew him. Aralee rode out bus and Bob would come to the school doing assemblies. As an adult I got to know him working on the road crew in Mt Bethel. He always came out to talk or tell the best stories. Always a big smile on his face. Socialized with him a few times too. Always making me laugh. A true treasure. He will be missed by the many lives he touched. I can only hope his legacy lives on. God speed Bob. Educate those Angel’s up there. ” – Peggy (Messinger) Carter

“Uncle Robert was bigger than life, it seems. The thought of him not being on this earth is hard, but I am comforted by the fact that he will be playing piano for the angels in heaven. God Bless you, Aralee and Sally, in this time of loss.”  – Terry Dorough Fogleson and Family

“God threw away the mold when Bob was created! I was always so touched when he always greeted me by name. My 3 children grew up watching School House Rock every Saturday morning! Bob is home with his dear musicians & filling the halls with music & laughter. Hugs to Sally and Aralee & families.” Gail Phillips

“Hearing about Bob’s passing is like losing a member of my family, even though I never had the opportunity to meet him in person. Only through a connection on Twitter was I able to relay my appreciation for Bob’s career and particularly “Schoolhouse Rock.”
When the series debuted on ABC in early 1973, I was barely two years old, but was fortunate to see it from its first airing. My mom persuaded me to watch because she worked for the OR Dept. of Education and was aware of its likely educational impact. After seeing “Multiplication Rock” that season at such an impressionable age, each segment stuck with me forever. Of course, my mom and family watched each ensuing new segment with me into the 1980s. My favorite was ultimately “Mother Necessity” (tied automatically with “Conjunction Junction”). 
I’ve always loved and appreciated Bob’s other contributions to the jazz industry. “Devil May Care” alone has already had numerous great covers, and will likely continue to. There also wasn’t any greater happiness to see Bob still performing live in recent years. YouTube gives recent evidence of his energy and brilliance as a performer into his early 90s.
All my best to his family. Know he made many lives better with his voice and songwriting.” – Greg B. Suko–Salem, OR

“Sally & Family: My heartfelt condolences to you all. Bob & I were close. We once played a piano duet on “Heart and Soul” in my class at the New School which I cherish. May you know of no further sorrow. Tnx to him for all he gave us and my children & grandchildren.” – Arnold (AJay) Jay Smith

“Ed and Rita mourn the passing of the great Bof Dorough-” – Ed and Rita

“My condolences to Sally and Aralee. When I met Bob at Gregory’s on 1st Ave, my boyfriend at the time asked him if he knew the song “I’m Hip”, Bob said, “Do I know it? I wrote it” and from that moment a friendship blossomed. When Bob handed me a Multiplication Rock album, I gushed with childhood memories and asked why he was giving it to me and he said he wrote them and sang all but “Figure 8”. I told him that when I was a kid and heard “3 is a Magic Number” I thought it was written for birthday being on the 3rd and it being my favorite number. When we started working together and even after, when he would play that song, he would let me come sing along . What a treat! Every time I glowed like a child who was just given a gold star. And when he would perform in LA on June 3 he would have the room sing to me..another heart opening highlight. I can go on and on about wonderful moments I had with Bob. He was a great friend and let me do what I could to make sure the world (or at least my world) knew he was our childhood when ABC did that SHR special where he was the main star discussing how it all came about, I was in heaven. Now he is..and I am so sure he is already at that piano playing “But For Now” or “Tis Autumn” and indulging some SHR fan with a dose of “Conjunction Junction “. 
He taught us in every song he wrote. He was a Master teacher.
“Live love today, let come tomorrow what may 
Don’t even stop for a sigh, it doesn’t help if you cry 
That’s how I live and I’ll die 
Devil may care”
Love you Bob.” – Laurie Ziegler

“Like every other child of the 70s, I learned about “Bills”, “Laws”, and the function of “Conjunctions” – thanks to Bob and his songs on SchoolHouse Rock.
When I moved to the Poconos, I was fortunate enough to meet Bob and talk with him. I learned so much about singing and playing the piano from watching him perform, perhaps as much as any teacher I’ve had along the way.
Whatever tune Bob was playing or singing, he made it “cool”. To me, that is a great goal for the rest of us to try and achieve, even if we only succeed now and then 🙂
My thoughts and prayers are with his friends and family, as we celebrate the life of a wonderful man.” – Dave Freeman

“Sally, I am so very sorry for your loss. There’s nothing I can say that the world doesn’t already know. I am fortunate to have a photo of Bob, that I took during a Jazz Masters Class, hanging on the wall in my home. He’ll be with us always! Love, Sally” – Sally Duffy

“Bob was one of my jazz heroes. As a jazz radio host/producer for nearly 40 years, I don’t think a week has gone by that I haven’t played or promoted his music…everything from the Bethlehem release to “Live at the Deer Head Inn.” As many have noted, Bob was always the coolest cat in the room. He rocked that distinctively hip ponytail for the last several decades. He was also the nicest, warmest, funniest guy you’d ever want to meet, and I can’t say enough about how great it is when you meet one of your heroes and they turn out to be as nice and as friendly and as welcoming as Bob was. It was at least 25 years ago when I first reached out to Bob, whose records I’d loved but whom I didn’t know personally and had never met to that point. I can’t remember what prompted it…I had a question, I was looking for one of his CDs, and I probably wanted to get him on my show for an interview. He responded warmly and we struck up a semi-regular correspondence. Eventually we would meet and he would be a guest on my Jazz Masters program on Washington’s WDCU, the old Jazz 90. He was a great interview, full of wonderful stories…his genuine warmth and humble nature shone through every answer he gave, every reminiscence he’d share, and we stayed in more regular touch after that. I remember seeing him at The Nest Lounge in the Willard Hotel, and at Blues Alley, among other spots. The last time I saw Bob was several years ago here in DC at an education fundraiser. They’d invited him to perform a few of his Schoolhouse Rock tunes. As I approached him at the pre-show reception, I wasn’t sure if he’d recognize or remember me…it had been at least a few years since we’d seen each other. But, as soon as we were face to face, he flashed that big old Bob Dorough smile and embraced me like a long lost brother and we hung out for the rest of the evening. We even talked about doing another interview at some point. Alas, it wasn’t to be. My heartfelt condolences to Sally and Aralee. There will never be another Bob Dorough and the world feels a whole lot emptier now without him. I am so glad that we have his recordings to cherish forever.” – Tim Masters

“Sally and Family-
Your Bob was such a gentle and loving man. He made a lasting impression on all who met him. His kind words, his humor, his sense of generosity, the list goes on and on. How immensely amazing to have called him husband, father, friend. Sally, you and Bob introduced me to New York! Such special memories from that trip. We have all been truly blessed by having a small piece of Bob in our lives. Sending Love from Wisconsin.” – Vicki Blakeslee

“Dear Sally,
I am sorry for the world’s loss, but especially yours.
Sincerely, Janice” – Janice Bond Jenkins

“One of my most favorite people. Bobby was always so generous, fun and gave so much to myself and my family. Not just through his music but through his enormous heart. Corrine adopting us from the playhouse, led to a lifetime friendship. Enriching us with Bobby, Aralee, and sweet Sally. ( and then Aralee added Colin and Corin what a gift)From our stays in Bethel to NYC sleepovers. Leaving us all with such joyful memories and a lifetime of friendship, makes the parting a bit easier.. BUT he will be missed ..deeply” – ROBYN( ROBBIN)

“Bob’s spirit lives on in his words and music. Sparrow and I will miss him so much. He was always there with an encouraging word, a wink, a smile… Bob Dorough – Better Than Anything! Much love to Sally, Aralee, Colin and Corin and the entire family.” – Joanie Pallatto

“Uncle Bob was one of the most influential people in my life. When I came to live with him in 1971 my life took a new direction. If it were not for Uncle Bob, I would not be the person I am today. Love you both, Aralee and Sally” – Charlie and Diane Goodman

“My sympathy to Mr. Dorough’s family. So grateful for the life of someone whose name I didn’t know until I read of his passing in the NY Times today. Schoolhouse Rock was my favorite part of Saturday morning television. The past 45 years were instantly erased and I became 1o years old again as I re-watched some of Mr. Dorough’s Schoolhouse clips online just now. Couldn’t help but beam hearing that voice that was so familiar to my childhood, and now I know the name and face that goes with it. Thank you Mr. Dorough for helping raise my generation!” – Julie Magri

“My whole family has enjoyed Bob’s music for all of our 32 years living here. From his numerous performances at COTA, onstage and in the children’s area, the Deerhead, ESU and countless benefits around the area, I never saw him give anything but a 100% enthusiastic performance. His sense of fun, wit and sly asides were some of the best aspects of a performance. He was a consummate musician, a generous soul, a wonderful human being. The mold was broken when they made Bob– he is, was unique. He will be beyond missed.” – Joni Oye-Benintende

“I’m sure this will have been said hundreds (if not thousands) of times, but Bob was one of the most sincere, kind, gracious persons I’ve ever had the privilege to meet and work with. A great musician who loved to share his joy and love of music with everyone.

I was Bob’s successor in directing the ESU Pop/Jazz Singers, and we were so privileged to help honor him when he received his honorary doctorate from ESU in 2007. At the ceremony, we performed with Bob in several of his songs that he had arranged specifically for the group for that occasion. His warmth, gentle humor, and generosity in offering musical guidance to the students made the day so memorable to all of us, and it was so much FUN!
I always looked forward to his wonderful performances every year without fail at the COTA Festival, and his enthusiasm and warmth always won over the crowds there and everywhere he performed.
When I needed his personal help a number of years ago, Bob didn’t hesitate. And he was like that with everyone.
I and everyone else were blessed to have known Bob. A truly, truly special person who will be sorely missed.
Sally (and family), I’m so saddened at your loss, but I hope you are consoled by the impact Bob had on everyone, and his great contributions to music.” – Jim Maroney

“Lots of love to Aralee, Colin and Corin. Bob was very special. Always so friendly and so very clever. A special big hug for Aralee. How lucky you were to have such a wonderful Dad.” – Gina Blakemore, Glen Legge, Cameron, Lachlan, Aidan & Kieran.

” Back in the 90s I was living in NYC and I was listening to a jazz radio station one afternoon when a song came on that made me stop in my tracks. Who was singing that song? I had to know! I called the station and got through to the DJ and he told me it was Bob Dorough and the song was Love from his Pop Art Songs cd. The DJ said I could buy the cd from Bob himself and he gave me Bob’s phone number. The same Bob Dorough who wrote and sang all those Schoolhouse Rock songs? I couldn’t just pick up the phone and call him. I don’t even know him….Still, I found the nerve and called. Bob answered the phone. We had a short but nice chat and I sent away for the cd. Years later, living in NJ my partner and I would go up to the Deer Head Inn to see Bob perform. His birthday shows were especially fun and he would also see me and call me by my last name: TURK! I loved that he called me that. He was so full of energy and wit and of course that voice. No one sounded like Bob Dorough. What a gift it was to meet him and watch him perform. To show my appreciation for what he meant to me, I did a caricature illustration for him as a gift. I’m grateful that he and Sally liked it. The Deer Head Inn has a print of it too and they have it hanging up in the men’s lavatory. I think Bob enjoyed the humor in the fact that they hung it in there. Gonna miss you Bob, but the records are still here and your voice will continue to be heard round the world!” – Russ Turk

” I first heard of Bob when offered a recording contract to Irv Kratka’s Inner City Records; Bob was slated to be my producer, but I balked because Mr. Kratka insisted that I relinquish all of my music publishing to him, which I refused. So I wound up admiring Bob’s music from afar for the next 30 years… until I chased him down at a gig he was playing at the Jazz Bakery in L.A., where I asked him to write liner notes for my first jazz CD, which he was gracious enough to provide, to my delight! (You can read his clever commentary here: Bob was the highlight of the Songwriters Panel I assembled at IAJE in 2004, and a couple years later I entreated upon Bob to join me in singing a duet (“Cool”) for my next album, which proved even more delightful! I’ve kicked myself countless times for the 30 years I didn’t cultivate his friendship but have been infinitely grateful for the 15 years we DID know one another. Bob is a treasure, loved beyond measure by me and countless others. Rest In Peace, Bob!” – Marilyn Harris

“We are saddened that we are in Florida and won’t be able to celebrate the life of one of the most talented, kind and joyful men we ever had the privilege to know. We will be with you all in our thoughts and heart. Make a joyful noise for Bob!” – Debbie and Jerry Metzgar

“If all of us could be a tiny little bit like Bob, this world would be an immensely better place. My deepest condolences to Sally and the entire family.” – Linda Schwartz

“So very sorry to hear of Bob’s passing. I mowed Bob’s grass as a kid in Mount Bethel and fondly remember a man whose passion for music and teaching children were known throughout the community. The world lost a precious gift and my sincere condolences to his family. Keep rocking in heaven Bob, and know you made a difference in so many peoples lives” – Rob Brands

” Dear Bob, thank you so much for your beautiful, witty and thoughtful musical compositions. Thank you for being so kind and caring in conversation and giving your time at Birdland, The Iridium and St. Peter’s. And thank you for sharing your soul’s light and happiness with all of us! I will miss you. Rest softly in the palm of God’s hand dear one!” – Nancy Valentine

“Keep on smiling up there Bob. Condolences to the family. Ive had the privledge to play with Bob on multiple occassions through Moravian College and the PA Jazz Collective. Tyler Dempsey is another artist as well.” – Ron Bogart









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