Australian composer Richard Connolly – best known for Play School theme – dies aged 94

Play School icon dies aged 94 after working on the hit ABC children’s show for years

Australian composer Richard Connolly, best known for writing the theme song for ABC children’s show Play School, has died at the age of 94.

He is survived by his wife Cynthia and his nine children.

Connolly retired in 1988 and spent the last few years of his life at Alexander Aged Care in Brookvale, northern Sydney.

Farewell: Australian composer Richard Connolly, best known for writing the theme song for ABC children’s show Play School, has died at the age of 94 

His funeral will be held at St Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney on May 19.

The iconic theme song to long-running series Play School was written overnight by Connolly while he was working for ABC Education.

His daughter, Polly Connolly, previously told the ABC: ‘He basically came home and banged it out and had to record it the next day.’

Rest in peace: Connolly is survived by his wife Cynthia and his nine children

Rest in peace: Connolly is survived by his wife Cynthia and his nine children

The Play School theme, also known as There’s a Bear in There, has been re-recorded several times since.

Most recently it was recorded in 2016 as part of a Triple J competition to mark the program’s 50th anniversary.

Connolly’s version, in which he sang the lyrics with early childhood educator Dr Rosemary Milne, debuted in 1966.

Memorable: The iconic theme song to long-running series Play School was written overnight by Connolly while he was working for ABC Education

Memorable: The iconic theme song to long-running series Play School was written overnight by Connolly while he was working for ABC Education 

He last performed the song for ABC TV show Gruen in 2020.

The theme song was inducted into the the National Film and Sound Archive Sounds of Australia collection in 2017.

Connolly began making religious broadcasts for the ABC in 1956, before joining the Radio Drama and Features department in 1967.

Final performance: Connolly last performed the Play School theme, also known as There's a Bear in There, for ABC TV show Gruen in 2020

Final performance: Connolly last performed the Play School theme, also known as There’s a Bear in There, for ABC TV show Gruen in 2020

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk

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