Three Dog Night is a veteran rock band that became famous during the late 1960s-early 1970s and was one of that era's top hit makers. Formed in 1967 in Los Angeles, the original founding members consisted of singers Danny Hutton, Chuck Negron, and Cory Wells (February 5, 1941 - October 20, 2015) who took turns as lead vocalist. Michael Allsup (guitar), Jimmy Greenspoon (keyboards), Joe Schermie (bass), and Floyd Sneed (drums) joined soon after to form the classic lineup which lasted through 1973, covering most of the band's peak commercial period (1969-1975). Prior to Three Dog Night's split in 1976, there were several lineup changes and additions that included the replacement of Hutton in late 1975 by Jay Gruska. The band's name was inspired by indigenous Australians who would sleep with dogs to stay warm at night with as many as three when temperatures dropped to below freezing.
Three Dog Night made its debut in late 1968 on the Pop/Rock charts with "Nobody" followed soon after in early 1969 by the Otis Redding-styled cover of "Try A Little Tenderness," which became the band's first in a string of 21 consecutive Top 40 hits. The band's fame took off later that year with the Harry Nilsson-penned "One," a Top 5 hit which was followed by the doleful "Easy To Be Hard" (1969, from the rock musical, "Hair"), the menacing Laura Nyro-penned "Eli's Coming" (1969), and the exuberant "Celebrate" (1970). Three Dog Night topped the Pop/Rock charts in 1970 with the Randy Newman-penned "Mama Told Me (Not To Come)," followed later that year by "Out In The Country" and "One Man Band." The band topped the Pop/Rock charts again in 1971 with the Hoyt Axton-penned "Joy To The World," followed later that year by the accusatory Russ Ballard-penned "Liar." Three Dog Night then topped the Adult Contemporary chart with the sweet Paul Williams-penned "An Old Fashioned Love Song" (1971), a Top 5 Pop/Rock hit followed by "Never Been To Spain" (1971) and "The Family Of Man" (1972).
The band had its greatest hit in 1972 with the socially conscious, pop/reggae-styled "Black & White," which topped both the Adult Contemporary and Pop/Rock charts. First covered by Pete Seeger (1956) and Sammy Davis Jr. (1957), this David I. Arkin/Earl Robinson-penned anti-racism anthem was inspired by the U.S. Supreme Court decision of Brown v. Board of Education (1954) which outlawed segregation in public schools. The band's remaining unbroken sequence of Top 40 hits continued through 1975 with "Pieces Of April" (1972), "Shambala" (1973), "Let Me Serenade You" (1973), the Leo Sayer-penned "The Show Must Go On" (1974), "Sure As I'm Sittin' Here" (1974), "Play Something Sweet (Backyard Blues)" (1974), and "Til The World Ends" (1975). Three Dog Night had its last charting song in 1976 on the Adult Contemporary chart with "Everybody Is A Masterpiece."
Three Dog Night reunited in 1981 with most of its classic lineup - co-founders Danny Hutton, Chuck Negron, and Cory Wells, plus three other original early members, Michael Allsup, Jimmy Greenspoon, and Floyd Sneed - and added one new member, Mike Seifrit (bass), who remained with the band through 1982. Negron left Three Dog Night in 1985 and later went on to pursue a solo career, and Wells remained with the band up to his passing in 2015. The band has continued to perform and record actively to the present, with many other personnel changes along the way. The current lineup consists of Allsup, Hutton, and newer members Pat Bautz (drums, vocals), Paul Kingery (bass, guitar, vocals), Howard Laravea (keyboards), Bruce Emmitt McAdams (French horn), and David Morgan (vocals). In 2000, Three Dog Night was inducted into The Vocal Group Hall of Fame.
- For more info about Three Dog Night and the band's touring schedule, visit threedognight.com.
- The Guardian remembers Three Dog Night co-founder Cory Wells.
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Three Dog Night
- Black And White 1972
(This rousing anti-racism song, which features a children's chorus, topped both the Adult Contemporary and Pop/Rock charts. Written in 1954 by David I. Arkin and Earl Robinson, "Black And White" was inspired by the Supreme Court landmark ruling that same year (Brown v. Board of Education) that outlawed segregation in public schools.)
- Celebrate 1970
- Easy To Be Hard 1969
(This song later also became a hit for Cheryl Barnes (1979).)
- Eli's Coming 1969
- The Family Of Man 1972
- Joy To The World 1971
(This kiddy song, which opens famously with "Jeremiah was a bullfrog," topped the charts.)
- Let Me Serenade You 1973
- Mama Told Me (Not To Come) 1970
(This song topped the charts and later also became a hit for Wilson Pickett (1972).)
- Never Been To Spain 1971
- An Old Fashioned Love Song 1971
- One 1969
- One Man Band 1970
- Pieces Of April 1972
- Shambala 1973
(This song also became a hit for B.W. Stevenson (1973).)
- Sure As I'm Sittin' Here 1974
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