Monday, January 19, 2009

Discovery of the Week: Bob Dorough

Another flaming example of my ignorance, but I never gave a moment's thought to the notion that there might actually be an artist lurking behind those Schoolhouse Rock songs - cult objects of nostalgia for my generation. But there is. His name is Bob Dorough, and I just this evening noticed his voice on Nellie McKay's latest album, Obligatory Villagers. That unmistakable voice! Somehow I imagine him sitting around somewhere in the cosmos with Sterling Holloway and John Fiedler.

A couple items from Youtube are in order to celebrate my discovery. Neither of these are videos in the sense of having much visual content but are examples of that common YouTube practice of sharing soundfiles where the users are.

Here's Dorough doing a marvelous cover of a song by a certain moptopped 60s sensation:

And since there isn't a clip of his version, and because this is so outstanding, here's Blossom Dearie performing Dorough's song (oh my god I love this so much) "I'm Hip":

Muse recently confessed to me that she's never quite sure what's meant by "hipster," and I did a poor job of giving my take. But this song does the job professionally. Wow. And how.

And come to think of it, those Schoolhouse Rock songs are classics, too. It's not like any old hack could have written them.


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