Dave Frishberg Dies: Jazz Musician, Writer Of Schoolhouse Rock Tune Im Just A Bill Was 88

Grammy-nominated jazz songwriter, singer and pianist Dave Frishberg died yesterday, according to a post on his Facebook page.

Frishberg had a long and varied career spanning from the Greenwich Village jazz scene in the ’50s to work as a studio musician in L.A. in the ’70s, to cutting his own Grammy-nominated albums and doing music for films.

But his greatest fame came from his involvement with Schoolhouse Rock, a 1973-85 series of Saturday-morning shorts on ABC that used music and rhyme to help kids learn basic facts, with such memorable songs as “Elementary, My Dear” (Multiplication Rock, 1973), “Conjunction Junction” (Grammar Rock, 1973) and Frishberg’s “I’m Just a Bill” (America Rock, 1975). “I’m Just a Bill” was famously spoofed on Saturday Night Live in 2014.

He also wrote and performed other memorable tunes in the series including “Walkin’ on Wall Street,” a song that describes how the stock market works, and “$7.50 Once a Week,” a song about saving money and balancing a budget.

Rhino Records issued a four-CD box set of Schoolhouse Rock tunes in 1996, and Disney produced a two-DVD set for the series’ 30th anniversary in 2002, featuring 52 of the 64 episodes.

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