In 1973, a jazz musician developed the renowned children"s short videos to aid kids discover math

The collection of catchy, education videos is still popular online

"Just a bill" described how a invoice becomes a regulation in Washington

NEW: Bob Dorough states he"s not surprised the videos still resonate

You are watching: I’m just a bill on capitol hill cartoon

“I’m simply a bill. Yes i am only a bill. And I’m sitting right here on Capitol Hill.”

“Conjunction Junction, what’s her function.” “My hero, zero.” “Lolly, Lolly, Lolly gain your adverb here.”

these are few of the lyrics that live ~ above 40 years after castle premiered ~ above Saturday mornings on ABC tv as component of “Schoolhouse Rock.”

They were animated videos and also songs designed by a jazz musician who wanted to assist children find out math.

youngsters never yes, really had any idea they were learning exactly how a bill becomes a regulation or proper grammar if watching the three-minute shorts in between cartoons.

Jazz pianist and also vocalist Bob Dorough was approached in 1971 by a brand-new York advertising executive whose sons could not multiply. The asked him to collection the multiplication tables come music.

Dorough ended up creating “Three’s a Magic Number” and other well known videos. He also voiced numerous of them.

Dorough, who is 89 and also still performs, said he it s okay requests from adults to sing some of the bits since they flourished up on them – regularly times recognizing his voice.

“I am no surprised at every (that the videos still resonate),” Dorough said “I learned, when performing at elementary schools, that they to be ‘getting through,’ so to speak, and the youngsters would conveniently recognize my voice on together vocals together ‘Three is a Magic Number,’ and others that i sang.

“However, what surprised me many was the affect of network television, i m sorry kicked in year later, after ~ we’d been on air in ~ ABC-TV. Thirteen years, plus a second round, aided us to with literally thousands, in a rather wide age spectrum.”

“Schoolhouse Rock” premiered on Jan. 13, 1973, and also ran on abc from 1973-1985. The came ago in the 1990s for five more years. Much more than 30 million people have currently watched several of them ~ above YouTube, showing that Dorough’s work still resonates.

the is not just the catchy words that associated with kids. They were combined with exciting visuals.

One point out featured a talking “bill” that defined to a boy how he could only become a legislation by passing both residences of Congress and then going come the White house hoping the president would authorize him.

“Conjunction Junction” provided train cars named “and,” “but” and also “or” that illustrated how a conjunction connected words.

request why the videos connected, Dorough said, “The melodies, words, arrangements, and players. That is come say, also though they to be in a ‘rock’ or ‘pop’ bag, my jazz sensibilities and the fine musicians I used for the audio recordings do the songs seem unusual to the Saturday morning cartoon listeners.”

just last week, there to be a vivid example of just how popular the videos remain.

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much more than a thousand people – adults that wanted to relive part of their childhood and parents that wanted to share the fun with their children – jammed right into the lobby that the Kennedy facility to hear Dorough song “Three’s a Magic Number” and “Figure Eight is dual 4.”

“I came because I had such fond, intense memories,” stated Amy Augenblick, who lugged her 9-year-old daughter, Elizabeth. “I might sing all of it there is no the words.”