School House Rock Remembered

This page is something I have copied out of a magazine, and was one of the first things I put up on the web back in the spring of 1995. I have decided to place it online again despite the fact it does violate copyright laws. I'm doing this for a very special reason. The creator of "School House Rock," Tom Yohe recently passed away due to cancer (December 21, 2000) and I wanted a page for people to leave their comments.

Every Saturday morning between 1973 and 1985, a classroom of imagination defying enormity was assembled on ABC, run by a small cadre of renegade Madison Avenue ad men. Class sessions were short but intense-squeezed between episodes of Scooby Doo and LaffOlympics and Underoos met the dress code. No one assigned homework, no one slapped your knuckles with a yardstick, no one beat you up for your milk money. The institution of learning was called Schoolhouse Rock, and if you can recite the Preamble of the Constitution by rote and know the function of a conjunction, you probably attended faithfully.

The series of animated cartoon shorts-41 segments in all-used appealingly goofy characters, catchy tunes and repetition (airing as often as seven times each weekend) to teach Fruity Pebbles consumers about multiplication tables, the parts of speech, American history, science and computer mechanics. Schoolhouse Rock's genesis took place in 1971 when David McCall, chairman of big-time New York ad agency McCaffrey & McCall, noticed that his son could sing every Beatles and Stones lyric ever recorded but couldn't handle simple multiplication tables. His solution was simple: Link math with contemporary music and the kids will breeze through school on a song. To implement his idea, McCall turned to his agency's creative staff, who passed the songwriting chores over to a traditional Broadway jingle house with less than brilliant results. Fortunately, agency co-ercive director George Newall suggested they hire Bob Dorough, a Texas jazz musician with a knack for infectious grooves. The composer/pianist accepted the mission with great enthusiasm, plowing through his daughter's arithmetic books and plunking out notes until he'd created the soothing ballad "Three Is a Magic Number."

McCall loved the results, but being an advertising executive, he demanded statistical proof that the world at large would love it too. Only after test audiences (consisting of elementary-school students and university professors, who verified the accuracy of each song released) gave the tune a thumbs-up did McCall approve the release of "Three Is a Magic Number" as a phonograph record, which, along with several other songs, eventually was released by Capitol Records under the title Multiplication Rock.

The ad men hoped to secure a workbook tie-in deal to go along with the record, but when that fell through, they decided to do an animated adaptation using their own money. M&M's other creative director, Tom Yohe, sat down at his kitchen table to draw up some storyboards, and "Three Is a Magic Number" was transformed into sound and motion for the sum of "$15,000 or some ridiculous amount like that," says Schoolhouse Rock producer Radford Stone.

The next major hurdle involved finding a market for the spot. At the time, ABC was devoting a lot of time to fretting about the naughtiness and violence of their programming and had begun to buckle under parental and political pressure to clean up their act. Of particular concern was the commercial content of its Saturday-morning lineup. Enter Radford Stone proposing a series of educational and otherwise socially redeeming cartoons.

ABC's head of children's programming at the time, a guy named Michael Eisner (yes, that Michael Eisner), and his animation advisor, Chuck Jones, fell prey to the charms of "Three Is a Magic Number." They gave the agency the go ahead to produce segments for the rest of the multiplication tables-with the bulk of animation provided by Phil Kimmelman & Associates, a production company specializing in animation for advertising. The network, however, didn't want to surrender advertising revenue every time they taught a few million kids the answer to three times six. McCaffrey & McCall had a solution. They convinced another one of their clients, General Foods, to sponsor Schoolhouse Rock, thus giving GF the good name and ABC the big bucks. In a further triumph of innovative business strategies, Eisner instructed Hollywood animation studios like Hanna-Barbera and Warner Bros. to cut three-minute modules from their shows. That way, ABC could use the extra time to run the Schoolhouse Rock segments, and when the shows went into syndication, the three-minute modules could be restored. The studios grumbled, but even then Michael Eisner had the muscle to push his wishes through. With all the behind-the-scenes deals out of the way, Schoolhouse Rock premiered on the weekend of January 6-7, 1973, with "My Hero Zero," "Elementary, My Dear," "Three Is a Magic Number" and "The Four-Legged Zoo."

George Newall remembers the original recording sessions with fondness, remarking, "Going to those sessions was wonderful, because in those days, real guys came in and played real instruments, and New York had the best session players in the world. Nowadays, instead of a roomful of musicians, you've got three guys standing around with Proteus modules."

Grammar Rock succeeded Multiplication Rock, drilling the parts of speech into youngsters' heads. Joining the creative team for the new segments was Lynn Ahrens, a secretary at the ad agency. One day, Newall spied her walking through the office with a guitar case, and when he asked her if she played, she performed for him on the spot impressing him so much that the agency made her a copywriter. Not long after, she wrote and sang on "A Noun Is a Person, Place or Thing" and several other classic SHR spots. Since then, Ahrens has gone on to earn five Tony nominations for her work on the Broadway musicals Once on This Island and My Favorite Year.

By 1976, a patriotic fervor had gripped the nation. Kids were hoarding bicentennial quarters and riding around on red, white and blue Huffys. Schoolhouse Rock responded with segments about American history, which they produced underthe banner America Rock, and which ABC, for reasons mysterious, called History Rock. The lessons became more ambitious, now addressing such topics as Colonial military prowess ("The Shot Heard 'Round the World"), the concept of Manifest Destiny ("Elbow Room"), and women's rights ("Sufferin' Till Suffage").

"Mother Necessity," in particular, proved a logistical nightmare. Says Bob Dorough, "We used all of our Schoolhouse Rocksingers, and we had to record 20 seconds in Los Angeles, then fly to New York to record another five seconds there, and so on." The result was a mixed jumble of melodies linked by a two-line chorus. Not that the spot wasn't as influential on society as the rest of SHR. A Radio City Music Hall show celebrating the nation's utter greatness saw the Rockettes dancing behind projected scenes from SHR, including an image culled from "Mother Necessity"-a towering smokestack with Tom Yohe's name painted boldly up its side. "Each letter was about the size of my head," reports Yohe.

Perhaps even more memorable was "I'm Just a Bill," in which a depressed little scroll of paper is dragged through the labyrinthine legislative process by which a bill becomes law. Not surprisingly, a number of government agencies and lobbyists asked for copies to educate their own staffs.

Although no one found any controversy in times tables or parts of speech, ABC did have a problem with one America Rock segment, "Three Ring Government," which dealt with the system of checks and balances among the three branches of government. Skittish in dealings with the FCC, ABC didn't want to risk insulting bureaucrats with "Three Ring's" circus motif, and the segment didn't air until several years after it had been produced.

Science Rock followed next, exploring such topics as the human circulatory system, depletion of the Earth's energy resources, and electrodynamics. One song frequently requested on this series was "Telegraph Line," about the nervous system. "Most of the requests came from medical schools," Tom Yohe recalls, "which doesn't give me a lot of confidence in our medical system. They wanted to show it to first-year medical students. It explained in a very simple, graphic way how the nervous system works."

The final Schoolhouse Rock series, Scooter Computer and Mr. Chips, was something of a departure from the previous format. The four segments feature SHR's only recurring characters, Scooter Computer (a fairly dorky-looking skateboard rat) and Mr. Chips (a roller-skating terminal about as clunky as the kind Matthew Broderick used in War Games). Its only reason for being, according to Radford Stone, was "the misapprehension that children have a phobia about computers." Stone barely considers Scooter part of SHR, and, in fact, none of the SHR creative team seem to recall who contributed what to Scooter. And since the Schoolhouse Rock archives, including the animation cels, were destroyed after it went off the air, no one is sure what the Scooter segments' official titles are. "No one remembers them," says Stone.

Over the course of its 12-year run, Schoolhouse Rock received many accolades from parents, professional educators and television insiders, even winning four Emmys for Outstanding Children's Programming. But by 1985, ABC's commitment to quality children's television had waned. Those attentive to such matters might have seen it coming, for during the previous year, ABC had begun sneaking spots that featured Tiger Beat faves Menudo in place of Schoolhouse Rock segments. And by 1985, ABC had become smitten with the dentally-endowed Mary Lou Retton and replaced Schoolhouse Rock altogether with Retton's exercise spots. Mary Lou only lasted a year ("Kids don't want to sit there eating their Sugar Frosted Flakes and suddenly break a sweat," opines Yohe), but the reign ofSchoolhouse Rock was over. Over, at least, temporarily.

In 1987, Golden Book Video released Schoolhouse Rock on tape. But things weren't quite the same. Actress Cloris Leachman and a litter of annoying, singing children now introduced the timeless segments, and to make room for Cloris and the gang, some spots, including "Three Ring Government," "The Good Eleven" and "Little Twelve Toes" were not included on the videos. Tom Yohe deeply regrets the omissions. Regarding Cloris Leachman, he says, "She's just hideous. She is the antithesis of what we wanted to do."

In reference to the Golden Book Video releases in general, Dorough states, "The quality is poor and there is also some new, inappropriate and inferior material not written by me and more or-less sung by Cloris Leachman and some kids." Dorough also makes a point of noting that he "hasn't gotten any royalties from these videos yet."

Fortunately, the news gets better. Last year ABC once again made room for Schoolhouse Rock in their Saturday morning lineup, initiating the minds of another generation. And orders have been placed for three new segments. "Busy P's," which fills us in on the part of speech long missing from Grammar Rock-prepositions-premiered in October 1993. December saw the introduction of "The Tale of Mr. Morton," a Lynn Ahrens composition about subject and predicate. A third, currently untitled segment promises to teach kids the value of the dollar. "It was originally supposed to be about the deficit," says George Newall, "but it was too complicated a subject to take on. It's too bad, really. I was thinking about all the PR possibilities. We could have taken it to Washington and maybe taught Bill Clinton something."

Newall likens the recording sessions for the new spots to a "lovefest." The old creative team, from Tom Yohe and Bob Dorough to Jack Sheldon and the original backup singers, were reunited to work on something that began as a side project and evolved into one of the best-known and best-loved television series ever. "More kids saw Schoolhouse Rock than ever watched Sesame Street," says Newall with an amazed laugh. "And the big irony is that it was all done by a bunch of ad guys in their spare time."

Copywrite Wild Cartoon Kingdom, Issue #3 1994, Copied Without Permission

This page currently edited by: Dagwood. Past editor: Banasy

i loved school house rock i wish they had it on tv now for my kids to learn

From: shannon green

i remember Schoolhouse Rock from back when i was a kid. found a bunch of cd's last year at a yard sale with ALL the songs plus another CD by punk groups doing the songs. i listen to them when i am blue and before long am ready to face the world again

From: Rikki

I remember i was just sitting on my couch watching tv when my dad put on the 1st SHR song I've ever heard. It was "interjections" I loved it! Since then I haven't stopped watching SHR! I even did my speech on SHR one year in school! I want to thank my dad for introducing me into the world of SHR!

From: Kayla

I loved School House Rock. I remember that's how the teacher taught me math, since I had problems in that area. But, my favorite one was "I'm just a bill" I loved that one and always will.

From: Melody

When I was nine years old, I watched an animated cartoon short in which a little doll in a toy soldier's costume was ridiculed because she had no joints and therefore could not move. On the night of Christmas Eve, however, the little doll's heartfelt wish was granted, and she found that she could move! "I CAN MOVE!" she cried. In the main segment of the short that contained the song, the doll was portrayed by a live action dancer who grooved to a disco number called "Dig Those Crazy Joints." Then, in the animated conclusion to the story, the doll was bought by the mother of a little girl, and when the girl moved the doll's elbow, the toy store owner said: "That's funny - yesterday she was a sad doll without joints, and today she's a happy doll with joints." I have not seen this short again in the past 27 years, and so I don't remember what it was called. But I do rememer the refrain to the dance number: "Dig those joints, dig those joints, Dig those cray-ay-zay joints! Dig those joints, dig those joints, Dig those cray-ay-zay joints!" To this number, the dancer portraying the doll danced a disjointed dance in which she showed off all of her body's joints.

From: Anthony Durrant


From: ChuckyG

I am in the 7th grade and I love School House Rock. My favorite song would have to be "The Pronoun Song" {I can't think of the name of it though} I have all the School House Rock videos and want to become a teacher, and show my students these videos!!! *I LUV S.H.R.*

From: Cathryn

Although I was never a television watcher (and still am not), I remember listening to SHR as a child. My only wish is - SHR would take over and obliterate the Rap crap so prevalent today - and it's just getting worse. Since I've moved up to Canada, I wish there was a Canadian version - to teach me more about the Parliament. :-)

From: Phil Chapman

My dad introduced me to schoolhouse rock almost 2 years ago and I know every word to every song even though I'm from a way different generation. I still watch the tape of SHR every night before I go to bed, but it's so hard to get to sleep because the tunes are so catchy I always sing them!!! Thanks for all those wonderfull "laerning" songs they have taught me alot of real world stuf that you're not taught in school!!!

From: haley

Schoolhouse rocks songs are stuck in my head for life. I am forty years old and I teach Middle School history and I use the S.R. tunes in class. I even made a rockin music CD that goes with the 8th grade U.S. History Classes I teach. Students love to hear music and have fun while learning, thanks to Tom Yohe and team for inspiring me to create Professor Presley History Rocks.

From: b.r.

I loved SHR and I still do. I am now 30 and I would still watch them if they were on TV more often. I wish that you guys would make a series on video and DVD of all of the shows aired on ABC. I used to watch it along with O.G.Readmore and the other cartoons on Saturday mornings. Now they have shows that don't really have any educational value and our children are missing out. Yeah, they are getting real life situations which is good, but they need to make their minds work and have fun with learning. SHR, bring on part 2,3,4,5, etc.,. I would buy all the videos.

From: Paul Rivera

I just want to say that I worked with Tom Yohe from 1992 until he unfortuneately passed away in 2000. He will be greatly missed, and I know that when someone passes away, people say that person was the nicest guy, blah blah blah......but Tom WAS the nicest guy I have ever known. Any of you who met him would say exactly the same. He was genuine, caring, and always smiling. Tom never realized what an impact SHR made on kids of my generation. He would just say "thanks", and that was it. SHR was, and is still the most fun you can have learning math, english, etc...It's cool when you talk to someone and the start singing some of the lyrics to any one of the songs!!

From: Tim

Hey, I miss the Schoolhouse Rock; it would be nice if my children could view this. It would be nice if maybe Schoolhouse Rock could be viewed on Nickelodean, Cartoon Network, and/or the Disney Cable Channels because many children watch those channels verses Saturday Morning's on ABC. Thanks for the memories, Lisa:-)

From: Lisa

I am currently in the play Schoolhouse Rock. I LOVE IT! It is so exciting and fun! It requires a little work but it's worth it in the end! I am only 10 and had no idea about it until now but I really do wish it was back on so I could have a clue.

From: Lenni

Hi! I just turned twelve, but I do musicals, and now I'm doing one. Guess which one? School House Rock! yay! I love it! My favorite songs are: Do The Circulation, Interjections, and Inter Planet Janet! That's because I'm in them ^_^ thnx Tom I don't know you but thnx for inventing SHR!

From: Noa

We, the people of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. The Preamble Rocks!!

From: person

Tom Yohe and Tom Lehrer were two of the best teachers I never had. From Mr. Yohe, I learned all about grammer, math and civics (with some history thrown in for fun). Just like a lot of you, I breezed through my high school courses by repeating lyrics I learned. Funny thing is, when I was a kid, I didn't even realize I was learning, I just thought the tunes were catchy and easy to sing along with. Tom Lehrer, who wrote all about 'the silent E' for the Electric Company (and other songs), taught me very well, too. I wonder what would have been possible if those two geniuses would have gotten together! I remember when the videos were first released, my daughter was 2 or so; I bought them immediately. No longer did Barney play in our house, or Disney's Sing-a-longs. No way. It was SHR, all day, every day. She's in 7th grade now, and her teacher was showing the SHR Grammer Rock video, and my daughter started laughing, and mouthing the words. :) I only hope that the SHR videos are around for my grandkids ... these guys knew how to make learning FUN!

From: Suzanne

I bought the both DVDs and showed them to my 14 year old niece and she loved them! My sister and I still knew all of the words to all of the songs and I'm still not certain which is my favorite - but I send many thanks to all of the creative forces that helped educate my generation. Conjuction Junction, Lally, Lally, Lally and the Magic Number Three are all fabulous accompanied by anyone who loves to learn and sing! Thank you to all who have continued to keep Schoolhouse Rock alive and well! Heather

From: Heather

I love it!! It was a big influnce to my life...I sing it in the shower

From: bob

School House Rock was one of the best things on Saturday morning TV during the 70's and early 80's. I was born in 1967 and when I was in the 3rd grade and we were doing the multiplication tables, we were only allowed to do one a day and on the day I did my 7's I begged the teacher to allow me to do my 8's also and she let me, which I then did to the tune of Figure Eight, complete with pauses after 5 X 8 where the song said "You know" or "That's true" depending on the verse.

From: Alan Laffoon

"We the people....." "Conjunction junction, what's your function...." You see we all mis those memorable songs! Come back School House Rock! I miss you, along with all your other adoring fans!LOVE YA LOVE YA LOVE YA LOVE YA! :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :)

From: Taylor Blunk

I wasn't born until the 91, but my family fills my head with their fond memories. I love school House Rock! It is a true classic!

From: Rebecca

I attended school with Tom Yohe's son and lived down the street from their house. Our 3rd grade class was the original focus group for the project. I also had the opportunity to sing on one of the songs (4-Legged Zoo) and a bit of my voice along with a few other classmates was immortalized on vinyl. We were treated to dinner at HoJo's on the way home from the studio for our efforts. :-) Yeah, they made records back then. I'm 42 and I still have mine. It makes me sad to think Tom has passed away. SHR stirs up fond memories. Geez, we're all getting old. I don't have anything to play that record on anymore. Well, I guess I'll pop in the DVD. Thanks Tom, for a precious memory.

From: Pete

OMG! I love School House Rock. I can remember learning the preamble and singing it in school and the whole class would memorize it so easily. School House Rock is soo cool. lol

From: michelle

My school did this play! It was so much fun!! I was just a backup, but I learned all the songs, and got the cd. And I used the lyrics of I'm Just A Bill for an ABC book I had to do in school. *loves*

From: kenzie

School House Rock saved me in 8th grade. This is how I learned the preamble and Constitution stuff. I wish it would was back on Saturday morning for this generation to see.

From: Tondaleo

I Miss School House Rock it was such a great show...they should put it back on!!!!!!!I MISS U SCHOOL HOUSE ROCK!!!!!!

From: Katy*

Hey, School House Rock! I remeber when I was in forth grade and listening to your songs! They really helped me and I just love the song "Pack Up Your Adjectives" I really wish that you guys could give me the lyrics because I am a teacher and I don't have a tv in my class room so I would like to sing it to my 3 graders. If you could e-mail me thoughs lyrics that would be great. Thank you soo much!

From: Rosemary

My high school musical theater class is doing Schoolhouse Rock live!!!! It's gonna rock the house down....just figured I would add that in and say that Schoolhouse Rock is still alive and kicking with the younger generation....

From: Brittni

These songs are what I would consider as Timeless Classics. In 1973, when SHR aired, I was 10yrs old(am I dating myself?). My siblings and I sung these songs every Sat morning over and over. We learned so much without realizing at the time what a huge gift they would become. We still sing them at family get togethers, but now we share them with our children. My daughter(at age 8) recited the "preamble", from memory, for her class on Veterans Day. Her teacher was so impressed she had the other 2nd grade class and school principal come into the room to hear her. They were very surprised when she followed up, without warning, by reciting the "Declaration of Independence", from memory. Learned from.. yup...SHR. In the spring my daughter told her teacher about singing these songs with me, while I played my guitar. Shortly after, the teacher asked if I would do a mini concert for the class. We typed up the lyrics to 3 songs for the kids to keep and my daughter sang the songs. Now these kids know "a noun is a person place or thing" what a predicate is (thanks to Mr. Morton) and of course the song and its meaning of the "Preamble". Thank you Mr Yohe, Mr Dorough, Ms Ahrens, Ms Dearie, Mr Sheldon, for your talents and these timeless gifts that will be shared with generations to come. Steve Just a final bit of trivia- Lynn Ahrens who wrote many of these songs, also wrote "Once Upon a December" in the movie Anastasia among many others.

From: Steve Robinson

I learned a lot about American history from SHR - America Rocks... and I'm Canadian.

From: Roger

I'm just a bill, yes I'm only a bill, and I'm sitting here on Capital Hill, well it's a long long journey to the Capital City, it's a long long wait while I'm sitting in commitee, but I know I'll be a law someday, at least, I hope and pray that I will, but today I am still just a bill.

From: Robert Woods 50/50

"I'm Just a Bill," thrilled me. I liked the political motifs best of all, even "Three Ring Government." Moreover, I liked the series about the body -"Telegraph Line," about the nervous system. The fact that medical students could understand the basis for the nervous system is actually re-assuring in a way. At least they know how it works - experience can fine tune it. thanks so much for the update!!! Connie

From: Connie Reid-Jones


From: Nancy

I learned the preamble with School House Rock before I understood what the Preamble was. I lulled myself to sleep with "Figure 8" and of course, Conjuction, junction, what's your function. They were lyrical geniuses. Thank you for the memories....

From: Lisey

I hate to admit it, but if it weren't for Multiplication Rock, I'd have probably flunked math in the 3rd grade. I can also memorize the Preamble because of "The Constitution Song", although I still confuse the word "posterity" with "prosperity".

From: Indy

SHR is/was the best thing since Sesame Street. I don't see how you could not be affected by this series. Everyone loves it! They were all peppy and fun. Seeing the complete set for sale is really great. I'm 34 and didn't realize there were so many episodes. I guess we got to see more of the ones that were important to the target age. Lots of grammar and math for a great foundation. Adverb, Intergetion, the one with the rabbit counting in different styles, and on and on and on.... you just can't beat it! Peace be upon us! Love all.

From: Vincent

I love School house rock!! It is great so far. I mean every year in school we have this huge concert. This year we are doing SchoolHouse Rock Libe Jr. It is Awsome. Me and my sister go in the middle of the stage and start fighting in elbo room. We do it on the part were they sing "the way was opened up for folks with bravery. There were plenty of fights to win land rights and the west was ment to be." It is really cool. I Love ShoolHouse Rock Live!!!!!

From: Mackenzie Gens

I love SHR!!! I watched it when I was in fifh grade all the time! I really miss it! Boo Hoo! Muc luv 2 u all, nikki

From: Nikki

I agree with one of the posters-there is nothing of educational value on T.V. I can almost remember SHR from the original airings and I will admit that I can still sing "Conjunction Junction"! Hey ABC-what's your function? BRING BACK SCHOOL HOUSE ROCK!!!!!!!!

From: Jacqueline Parker

I am currently doing "School House Rock Live!" for the spring musical at my high school and am having a blast! I love the music! It is so catchy and is always stuck in my head! (Also performing in "She Stoops to Conquer" which is also great!) Long live these awesome songs (and the theatre!)! :-)

From: Amy

its a shame how todays children dont know about Paul Bunyan, John Henry,and other tall tales and legends, but most importantly of all Schoolhouse Rocks!!!! I was a loyal follower all of my childhood and wish my children will one day be able to follow it as faithfully as i once did, quick education like that doesnt exist anymore and what a shame

From: jamaul johnson

Hi.I am 7 I love SHR. My best song CCWSYF.

From: timothy

I like school house rock. It's a great learning video and your takeing this from the Father of Wes Clark.

From: Derek

scholhouse rock is like the best thing ever made!it teachs us so much!I always sing it when i hear someone say something about it.

From: kayla

My favorite was the "Number 8" song. "Figure 8 is double 4...Figure 4 is double 8...If you could skate, it would be great, if you could make a figure 8...It's a circle that goes round about itself." I don't know why I loved that one so much, I just do. Must have been the ice skating girl. :o)

From: Laura

I'm a little late in showing, but the creative genius that Tom and SHR represents cannot be expressed in mere words. The memories of Saturday morning cartoons scintillatingly laced with some of the most unforgettable tunes a la SHR mean more to me now than I think they did when I had my morning-bed-head-spider-man-jammy'd butt parked in front of the tube huddled over my sugar-engulfed bowl of Cheerios. When an SHR short came on you couldn't help but watch. It's tough to find someone of my generation that *DOESN'T* have a favorite SHR tune. I've always been a sucker for "Great American Melting Pot", "Shot Heard 'round the World", "Interjections!", "Unpack Your Adjectives", and "Lolly Lolly..." (I swear that Don Pardo - SNL announcer - has a segment in this one). "No More Kings" is a worthy mention as well. Tom, just know that you did it right for us kids. And I thank you.

From: Vic

I loved watching School House Rock as a child, it was very educational as well as entertaining. As a first grade teacher, I wish that my class could experience the joy of this wonderful program. I wish that it could still rock on for this generation "Miss you muchly" Ms. Greene First Grade Teacher

From: Valerie

My fifth graders love the fact that I used to watch SHR when I was in 5th grade or younger! It's such a great way to teach/review with my students. Whoever made these vids should be applauded! You are a genius!

From: Ebby

I never grew up with SHR but my husband did. Now we are raising our children around the songs and tapes. I love it now as an adult!

From: Barb

All I can say is...thanks a million. You guys have touched my life in a big way...and you were so much a part of me while growing up. To this day...and even now...I was huming a tune about the Preamble..."...Do ordained and establish this Constitution...for the...United States of America." Thanks for thinking about the kids...because sooner or later we all grow up sometimes...Thanks. Marcus

From: Marcus White

To this day, I cannot watch a figure skater without the phrase "you can skate...a figure eight...that's a circle that turns 'round upon itself" running thru my head. Proof-positive of the effect that music and repetition could have on the learning process. We practically lived in "Conjunction Junction"

From: Cheryl

As a child from a poor family,I grew up feeling excluded from the American mainstream.When SHR started with its "History Rock" and other patriotic tunes,I discovered a heart felt inclusiveness as to what it means to be a U.S citizen.These cartoon segments gave me a sense of pride and hope as an American; before,I ever cracked open my first history book.They are endeared to me thrity years later,and I will pass on SHR to my child.

From: Carlo Webb

I recently bought the 30th anniversary DVD set. If you can pick it up. I also recommend picking up the "Schoolhouse Rocks Rocks!" CD if you can still find it. It features covers of the songs by bands of the 90's, the best of which, is Blind Melon's cover of "Three Is A Magic Number", which is my favorite of all the Schoolhouse Rock tunes. I have a t-shirt with the magician character from the video. I also have a Conjunction Junction t-shirt as well. I'll be 33 in January 2004, it will be the best because 3 IS the magic number!

From: Jason Belavic

I remember watching SHR alot when I was a kid. It saved my life once when I had a test in school about verbs,nouns, and such. It was funny I'm sweating at my desk, fumbling through the 'What is a conjuction?' question, when the unmistakeable song runs through my mind. Needless to say I passed the test.

From: Steve Martinez

Hats off to those guys. Their School House Rock series made my Saturday morning cartoons fun and learning. I am getting these videos for my kids so they can enjoy them too! It covered every thing. History, math, science, english without losing yopr attention. I am 32 now and I can still sing all of those songs. Gravity, Conjunction,Adverb, Circulation etc.

From: George

I loved SHR and still do. Bob Dorough lives less then 30 miles from me. He taught at the college I went to. I have meet him and spoken with him a few times. The college has a class called Jazz Masters Seminar. Every year great local jazz artists speak to the class throughout the semester. Most of the artists change from year to year but there are a few that speak every year/semester. Bob is one of them. When I had the class the professor asked me to help set up/tear down the sound system and greet the artists. He always does at least one song from SHR. He is told thank you a lot and is asked a lot of questions about SHR during the Q & A session. He also tells the story of how it starts. Bob Dorough is a great, wonderful, serious, and funny man. It was a pleasure to meet him, "work" for him, and to thank him for his work on SHR.

From: Melissa M

It's not the cartoons themselves that I think of when I think of Saturday mornings though. When my friends and I discuss the 80s and the things we remember, School House Rock always comes up. We sing and try to outdo each other with which songs we can remember. After learning about such things as the preamble to the constitution, conjunctions, adverbs etc., it brought a smile to my face when we studied them in school and I would mouth the words. Today I am a teacher and I still do... Thank you!

From: Tracy

I absolutely love School House Rock! My favorite one is interjections and I still can't believe they took it away. I think thats a wonderful way for kids to learn new things and the songs are so catchy. peace out, Alyssa wheeler , age 13

From: alyssa Wheeler

In highschool, in the 70's(civics class, is there such a thing anymore), we had to pass the preamble test to graduate. Needless to say the day of the test, the whole class could be heard humming, "We the people...". SHR ensured I graduated! Thanks!

From: Leslie

I grew up watching the School House Rock sing alongs. It taught me so much. My personal favorite is Conjunction Junction What's Your Function. My mother and my younger sister and I can still sing the song in it's entirety. We will miss you, School House Rock. From: Charlotte

From: Charlotte Thompson

I used to watch these in between cartoons in the early and mid 80's. They were great. I wonder why they took them off the air, they were very educational.

From: Joe

SCHOOL HOUSE ROCK, ROCKS! Thank you, for the years of knowledge. Now where do I place that comma? Don't stop for the comma Pause for the comma, but, don't stop; I just wanted you to know, I have more to show. Don't stop for the comma, I'm not a period. Regardless if independently, descriptively, and listed I am shown, pause for me only, than continue to go. Don't stop for the comma, I'm not a period. denna S 2003 c

From: Denna Hornesby

Who could ever forget "Im just a bill sittn on capitol hill" !!!

From: jenna

I'm 32 and I too learned the Preamble from watching school house rock. One of my proudest memories was when I was in the 5th grade my teacher was going over the constitution & I had the guts to raise my hand and tell her that I knew the Preamble by heart. She asked me to resite it and she was amazed! When I told her I learned it from SHR 1/2 the class started singing the song. SHR was definitely something I always looked forward to on Saturdays & it's a shame that kids today don't have the same exposure to these classic cartoon shorts.

From: natalie

I too was sadden to hear that Mr. Yohe had passed away. I grew up with my brother watching SHR. I even passed all of my classes in school. The funny thing was, that when I got to High School, I still remembered all of the episode of SHR. So much so, that when my history teacher asked if anyone could recite the Preamble, I was the only one who could. SHR was magic. I recently found the entire collection of SHR on iMESH. I down loaded everyone of them for my kids. Each of my kids has their own CD of SHR. I hope that it will have the same effect on them as it did to me. Eventually, I will buy the videos. Only a group of ad guys could pull off something like this. It truely was magic. From my heart, thank you guys. You are apart of my very happy childhood memories.

From: Darren

I remember watching SHR when i was little and loving it so much! I was so excited when my high school decided to preform School House Rock Live! for my senior year musical. Seeing the kid's faces as we sang all their favorite silly songs was nothing short of amazing! We had so much fun doing it and I know that the kids had fun seeing it. Hi to all my SHR buds out there!

From: Katie

I loved to watch these amazing videos when I was a child. I would love for my neices and nephews to watch them as well. I'm glad that I can now order the videos to show them. They are very educational and great stories to share to generations ahead. Thanks .

From: Robin McGaskey

I love SHR and am so glad to see that it's back on TV. I learned the Preamble watching SHR and amazed some work colleagues while visiting the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland by singing it when I saw a set of videotapes of SHR. They were amazed because I'm Canadian and I knew the preamble of the U.S. Constitution (they didn't). Now I make sure that my 4 year old watches whenever SHR is on.

From: Tracy

One of my fondest memories of Saturday morning when I would get up and watch my favorite cartoons and catch the School House Rock segments. It seemed everyone at school could recite them and we were better students because of it. I am a teacher and a parent now, and I sometimes sing the songs to my children. I sometimes share my memories with my students in hope that some of the learning techniques would inspire any of them. Many times I wonder if the television industry has lost its zeal for excellence in education in view of the types of programs it chooses to show. SHR was a great learning tool for me and maybe someday someone will be able to pick up the torch for future children's education.

From: Alisa A.

I'm 31 and loved watching the School House Rock mini's in between cartoon episodes and they were so catchy you remembered every part of the cartoon when you hear the tunes. My favorite was "I'm Just A Bill", as it showed you how a bill is made to a law from the view of the bill. Children really need these series again in a world with so much pressure and negative experiences as the shows are positive and empowering. Thanks guys for producing something so memorable and hopefully something that will last forever.

From: Sean Forbes

I'm sorry to hear of the passing of Tom Yohe; he has left me with many memories of learning. I'm 38 now and remember getting up bright and early every Saturday a.m. just so I'd catch all the SHR shorts on ABC. My favorites would have to be "Conjunction Junction" and "Lolly, Lolly". However, just writing this now brings back many more of the songs I sang in unison with the TV. Thanks for a great learning childhood.

From: Regina

Being a Canadian, Schoolhouse Rock gave my early childhood quite a jump start into something that has become a passion for me... History. I recently rekindled my love affair with SHR when a friend casually mentioned it in passing. Thank you for putting this page back up, and for allowing all of us who have loved the show from it's inception to be able to say one thing: To All Those Responsible for School House Rock: Thank you for a wonderful childhood experience that is shared by millions of people!

From: Bill

I love School House Rock. I teach second grade. I made it my business to introduce the wonderful lyrics of School House Rock. They want to learn the lyrics that helped me as a child.

From: Tiffany Shaw

I just took my 4-year-old to see the School House Rock Live play at our local university today and I can still recite about 6 of the episodes including, "Conjuntion Junction", "Just a Bill", "Interjection", and several others.

From: Lisa Bares-Olson

I worked with Tom for years at Grey Advertising. He was one of the kindest creatives I ever knew! You'd never guess that he was such an American icon! He did an animated test commercial once, using the same drawing style as in SHR. My prize possession is some of the production cells from that, autographed by Tom. Every year he used to design and draw his own Christmas cards, in that style everyone who grew up with SHR will recognize immediately! I just found this site, and wanted to post my own thoughts of a wonderful, talented man with a heart of gold and one of the sweetest people I ever had the honor to work with....

From: Helen

Currently I am in the eighth grade, and in both my English and History class, we watch Schoolhouse Rock! In History we watch the "Preamble" one, and in English we watch the "Grammer" one! I'll have to say, they are pretty fun to watch and they do teach alot!

From: Derek Tupper

I became a Political Science major because of "I'm Just A Bill". It was the best decision of my life. I am a government employee and still sing the song in my head.

From: Kevin

I learned the Preamble to the Constitution of the United States from Schoolhouse Rock, a song that I sing to my kids today.

From: Mike Waters

I have always loved SHR and wish I was alive when it originally aired. Why can't it be on now? If not on ABC why not Cartoon Network or even TV LAND? My favorites include: "I'm Just A Bill", "The Preamble Song", "Unpack Your Adjectives", "Sufferin' Til Suffrage", "Conjuction Juntion","Shot Heard Round the World", etc. You know, one I never understood was "Elbow Room." That is the worst one.

From: shelley

I remember the SHR when I watch Saturday catoons. When I heard that they came out with the videos I brought them for my children. When we played them songs came back to mind, like riding a bike. We sit and watch them from time to time. Great videos and the kids seem to learn more when our history is put into songs.

From: June

im a big school house rock fan i'm just a bill. elbow room engery blues on up to conjunction junction unpack adjectives. interjections. interplant janet and my all time fevorite school house rock song three is a magic number my hero zero. lucky seven samson. and that why I think that abc should put back the school house rock program back on tv. from a big school house rock fan. chris the i'm just a bill kemp

From: chris kemp

I will always remember what I learned by watching SHR. In fact now that I have become an elementary teacher myself, I use the videos and cd's in my classroom. It worked over twenty years ago and it still works.

From: Kim

As I've gotten older, I've really come to appreciate the things I had when I was younger. I lived for Saturday mornings and Schoolhouse Rock is one of my fondest memories of that most favorite day. Several years ago, I found audio cassettes of some of the SHR series and last year I was able to get all of the series on video. It almost brings me to tears when I go back and relive that part of my childhood. Life was so much simpler and carefree then when compared to what youngsters have to deal with today. It's a shame that kids don't have SHR now with which to grow up. Tom Yohe will be terribly missed. His contribution to SHR is part of what made the series so special and our childhood so memorable. I love Schoolhouse Rock and it will always be a part of my generation. I just hope it's not the first and last generation to enjoy and learn from it.

From: Tim Saffold

I had forgotton School House Rock, I grew up with it every Saturday Morning. Recently, I saw School House Rock Live was coming to my town of Phoenix, and I am taking my 4 year old son. Hope he likes it as much as I did. Maybe we can get the videos too!!

From: Cris Roberts

I recently purchased the Multiplication Rocks CD. It's got some of the best kids' music I've heard on there. I really enjoy listening even though I'm 25...I play sax and love the fact that this is real music by real musicians. So much kids' music today is poorly synthesized garbage. Little known fact is that Bob Dorough, who wrote most of the music and performed much of it as well, was one of only two vocalists to ever appear on a Miles Davis recording (Nothing Like You, from the Sorcerer album). Needless to say he had the utmost respect of the music community. My favorite song is Lucky Seven Sampson. Bye now!

From: Doug

How do I begin? There could never be anything as simple and yet as educational as Mr. Yohe's and all the rest creations. I am 32 years old and I still watch the Schoolhouse Rock shows,heck...I still remember all of them word for word. These programs give education to the very young and nostalgia to the rest of us. When I think of my childhood,I think of Schoolhouse Rock...and it always, always leaves me smiling. p.s. to the guy who does this page.....GOD BLESS YOU.

From: Michael T

I was born in 1967, and like those of my generation, I grew up with SHR. I was 6 years old when Three Is A Magic Number debued on ABC, and I remember it like it was yesterday. Great memories of classic Saturday morning shows. What was so great about those little 2-3 minute shows were that we were learning, and did not know it. I was very sad to hear of Mr. Tom Yohe's death, and David MCCAlls death also. Two very talented men who cared about the well being and education of children. Things that are not present in todays programming, or what there is of it. Long Live School House Rock....

From: Brannon

I am 32 now and was only about 3 when School House Rock debuted. But I remember every Saturday morning getting up to make sure I wouldn't miss my favorite show. I loved Loly Loly Loly get your adverbs here and how a bill becomes a law. I just started collecting these videos for my children to help them get a jump on learning. I contribute most of my learning about Math and Adverbs to SHR. I had trouble in school and SHR helped me want to learn about adverbs, nouns, etc., I am sadden to find out that Tom Yohe passed on. He will be missed by many. He created a vaulable learning tool for kids. Too bad the TV companys don't care about these kinds of educational shows anymore. Maybe if they did we wouldn't have so many problems with the kids of this generation. :(

From: Lorie B Morey

I love schoolhouse rock. I still think about these songs. I can't think about the preamble to the constitution without singing it.

From: Minta

I watched Saturday morning tv specifically for Schoolhouse Rock, and not the cartoons that interrupted them! And now, all these years later, my 9-year old daughter is starring in the stage production of "Schoolhouse Rock Live!", singing "Interplanet Janet" and "Unpack Your Adjectives". I couldn't be more proud to see another generation enjoying these wonderful songs. And yes, I can still recite the Preamble and sing about Naughty Number 9. Thank you Tom Yohe, for one of the sweetest parts of my childhood and my daughter's!

From: Lori Taylor

To this day I still remember the preamble to the constitution, which really came in handy in high school government class. The low hum of that song could be heard through out the room as we all recalled it to finish the written portion of our mid-term. School house rock touched a part of my life in a way that I will remember forever and I hope that my kids will love it as I did.

From: Mike Blossom

Thank you Tom...Schoolhouse Rock fostered my love of history and of this 2 year old daughter will grow up with it as I did...and hopefully she'll enjoy it as much as I do.

From: Patrick

I happened to stumble across this page, and I know that Tom Yohe would be deeply touched by the tributes people have left. Tom was a good friend of mine and he never tired of hearing people sing the praises (and sometimes the lyrics) of Schoolhouse Rock. I always told him that he was one of the great educators of our time without ever trying to be. From the comments on this page, it seems there are others who agree.

From: David Benbow

My first year as I teacher about 6 years ago(1995-96) I read an article that I never forgot. Mr. Yohe(I can't remember which one.) or one of the other co-creators was about to address a large assemble of Harvard students(about 750 if I remember right.) As Mr. Yohe approached the podium the students all began to sing "I'm Just a Bill" in unison. What a wonderful feeling that must have been. My generation was given a unique educational device that I hope we never forget or fail to use on future generations.

From: Robert

I remember how they had the conjunction song that I liked for I learned about conjunction like "and", "or". Conjunction, Conjunction what's your function. I will miss the creator because it helped me with my studies.

From: Alfred C. Turner

When I was in fifth grade. My class was learning about the U.S. government. When it came time to learn about how laws were made, my teacher told us if we could get up and sing the "I'm just a bill" song we would recieve an "A" and would not have to take a written test. Although noone sang the song for the class,when we took the written test. There were many of us singing the song in order to pass the test. I think I made a "B" thanks to SHR's

From: Christopher D

I can remember getting up as early as 6:00am on Saturday mornings to watch cartoons, and one of my fondest memories is of School House Rock. To this day( 20+ years later )the only way I can recite the preamble is by singing it the way I had learned it from School House Rock. I wish someone would put it back on Nickelodeon, or the Cartoon Network for this generation of children.

From: Ed

I love School House Rock, even to this day. I don't think there is any child who grew up on American TV in the 70s and early 80s who doesn't remember these excellent shorts. It's a total shame that ABC has become so commercial that there is nothing of educational value left on it.

From: ChuckyG

I remember learning the preamble with schoolhouse rock. We watched the preamble one in history class, and that was only 4 years ago in 8th grade.

From: Adam Giguere

I love Schoolhouse Rock to this day. I wish there were something like it on today, so my daughter could enjoy it too. I enjoyed it more than the actual cartoons some days. My all time favorite is "I'm Just a Bill".

From: Dagny

I was very saddened by the death of Tom Yohe, the co-creator of Schoolhouse Rock. I like a lot of americans watched it every Saturday morning and I learned a lot from show which goes to prove you don't need violence to leaned education from and that's what missing from society today. Thanks Chucky G for posting it up permisson or no permission it's important that we know about these things.

From: james martin

I used to watch School House Rock when I was really little, about 4 or 5 years old, and it's been going on for so long that I almost completely forgot about it. I will remember Mr. Yohe with great fondness and I'll always remember that he was the one who was responsible for teaching this oldtimer how to read.

From: Celeste Keenan

I was 3 and a half when "Schoolhouse rock" debuted on ABC. I'm almost 32 now and I have a 1 year old son. To this day I believe that I learned most of what I know from the Schoolhouse Rock shorts. I bought all of the videos when they were released in '94. I'm also a nanny and have shown the videos to some of the kids I've taken care of. I think they are a wonderful and entertaining means of education. I'm so glad I have all of the videos to show my son. I'm sure he will enjoy them and learn as much from them as I have. I also have the CD box set, the Schoolhouse Rock book, a Schoolhouse Rock Tshirt, and "Schoolhouse Rock Rocks". I'll of course keep my eye out for any and all Schoolhouse Rock memorabilia. Tom Yohe left an incredible legacy for my generation and those to come. He will be missed.

From: Terri Klemmer

One thing that comes to mind about schoolhouse rock, I remember taking the constitution test. It was a requirement to pass. I can still hear people singing under their breath "we the people in order to form a more perfect union" as they scrbbled it down.

From: timoria

Very sad to hear of Mr. Yohe's passing. I grew up watching SHR, and have very fond memories of it. I even bought the entire 5 or 6 VHS tape set of SHR that came out a few years back. Not only did I love the show for it's educational purposes, but the songs have stuck with me to this day, and I attribute my current passion for music to, among other things, School House Rock. We'll miss you, School House Rocky!

From: Britton

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