Dave Frishberg, jazz musician behind favorite Schoolhouse Rock! songs, dies at 88
Grammy-nominated jazz musician and Schoolhouse Rock! songwriter Dave Frishberg — who penned the beloved children's show's classic "I'm Just a Bill" tune — has died at age 88.
Frishberg's wife, April Magnusson, confirmed Thursday to the New York Times that the accomplished songsmith died Wednesday in Portland, Ore.
Before finding success with his specific brand of witty storytelling through song, he wrote his first published tune, "Peel Me a Grape," in 1962. He later moved to Los Angeles in 1971 to begin working on a short-lived NBC variety show, The Funny Side, starring Gene Kelly across nine episodes.
Though his career spanned a variety of styles and mature lyrics, he is perhaps best known for his regular contributions to ABC's long-running Saturday morning cartoon Schoolhouse Rock!, for which he penned informational earworms like his first-ever piece for the program in the show's third season: "I'm Just a Bill," which explained America's legislative process with accompanying vocals by trumpeter Jack Sheldon.
Following his success on the show throughout the 1970s, he released The Dave Frishberg Songbook, Volume No. 1 to critical success and a 1982 Grammy nomination, which he followd up with another nod for Volume No. 2. He would go on to create two more Grammy-nominated albums: 1985's Live at Vine Street and the 1987 release Can't Take You Nowhere.
Frishberg is survived by Magnusson, whom he married in 2000, and his sons.
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