The children’s series from 1973 to 1984 set math, civics, science and grammar lessons to music until it was revived in the 1990s.
The idea came from a conversation Newall, then the creative director of McCaffrey & McCall advertising agency, had with the agency’s president. David McCall in which McCall said he was disappointed that his young sons couldn’t reproduce, “but they can sing with Jimi Hendrix and the Rolling Stones.”
“I asked Ben and he said, ‘Yeah, my partner Bob Doro – he can put anything to music!’ said Newall New York Times Magazine in 2018.
“He told me that Bob had written a song based on the words on the mattress label, ‘Do Not Remove Under Penalty of Law,'” Newall recalls. “So I brought Bob in and David gave him the assignment. About two weeks later, he returned with her “Three is the magic number” and we all knocked him out.”
Tom Yohe – the agency’s art director and cartoonist – illustrated the group’s ideas and the show was sold to ABC. Yohe died in 2000 and Darius died in 2018.
“Schoolhouse Rock” won four Emmy Awards and spawned books, records and live singing shows to educate Generation X.
The Walt Disney Company It will reportedly air a national primetime singalong in early 2023 to celebrate the series’ 50th anniversary. The Official School Building Rock Guide by Newall and Yohe and an adult coloring book featuring characters from the series will also be released.
A celebration of Newall’s life will be held Saturday at St. Andrews Golf Club in Hastings-on-Hudson.