Three Dog Night
This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. (December 2012) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Three Dog Night is an American rock band. They formed in 1967 with founding members consisting of vocalists Danny Hutton, Cory Wells, and Chuck Negron. This lineup was soon augmented by Jimmy Greenspoon (keyboards), Joe Schermie (bass), Michael Allsup (guitar), and Floyd Sneed (drums). The band registered 21 Billboard Top 40 hits (with three hitting number one) between 1969 and 1975. Because Three Dog Night recorded many songs written by outside songwriters, they helped introduce mainstream audiences to writers such as Paul Williams ("An Old Fashioned Love Song") and Hoyt Axton ("Joy to the World").
Three Dog Night
Three Dog Night, 1972
|Also known as||Redwood (1967-1968)|
|Origin||Los Angeles, California, United States|
|Years active||1967–76, 1981–present|
|Labels||Dunhill, MGM, MCA, Epic, Columbia|
|Associated acts||The Enemys, Cory Wells Blues Band, SS Fools|
|Past members||Cory Wells|
James "Smitty" Smith
- 1 Band name origin
- 2 Background
- 3 History
- 4 Personnel
- 5 Discography
- 6 Awards and recognition
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Band name originEdit
The official commentary included in the CD set Celebrate: The Three Dog Night Story, 1964–1975 states that vocalist Danny Hutton's girlfriend, actress June Fairchild (best known as the "Ajax Lady" from the Cheech and Chong movie Up In Smoke) suggested the name after reading a magazine article about indigenous Australians, in which it was explained that on cold nights they would customarily sleep in a hole in the ground while embracing a dingo, a native species of wild dog. On colder nights they would sleep with two dogs and, if the night were freezing, it was a "three dog night".
The three vocalists, Danny Hutton (who got his start with Hanna-Barbera Records in 1964), Chuck Negron and Cory Wells (who landed a recording contract with Dunhill Records) first came together in 1967 and made some recordings with Brian Wilson while the Beach Boys were working on the album Wild Honey, and initially went by the name of Redwood. Shortly after abandoning the Redwood moniker in 1968, the vocalists hired a group of backing musicians – Ron Morgan on guitar, Floyd Sneed on drums, Joe Schermie from the Cory Wells Blues Band on bass, and Jimmy Greenspoon on keyboards – and soon took the name Three Dog Night, becoming one of the most successful bands in the United States during the late 1960s and early 1970s. Ron Morgan left the band early on and subsequently went on to join the Electric Prunes. Michael Allsup was quickly recruited to replace him on guitar.
Three Dog Night earned 12 gold albums and recorded 21 consecutive Billboard Top 40 hits, seven of which went gold. Their first gold record was "One" (US #5), which had been written and recorded by Harry Nilsson. The group had three US #1 songs, each of which featured a different lead singer: "Mama Told Me Not to Come" (Cory Wells on lead), which was also their only Top 10 hit in the UK; "Joy to the World" (Chuck Negron on lead); and "Black and White" (Danny Hutton on lead). Dunhill Records claimed that 40 million record albums were sold by the band during this time.
As its members wrote just a handful of songs on the albums, most songs Three Dog Night recorded were written by outside songwriters. Notable hits by outside writers include Harry Nilsson's "One" (US #5), the Gerome Ragni-James Rado-Galt MacDermot composition "Easy to Be Hard" (US #4) from the musical Hair, Laura Nyro's "Eli's Comin'" (US #10), Randy Newman's "Mama Told Me Not to Come" (US #1), Paul Williams' "Out in the Country" (US #15), "The Family Of Man" (US #12), and "An Old Fashioned Love Song" (US #4), Hoyt Axton's "Joy to the World" (US #1) and "Never Been to Spain" (US #5), Arkin & Robinson's "Black and White" (US #1), Argent's Russ Ballard's "Liar" (US #7), Elton John and Bernie Taupin's "Lady Samantha" and "Your Song", Daniel Moore's "Shambala" (#3), Leo Sayer's "The Show Must Go On" (US #4), John Hiatt's "Sure As I'm Sittin' Here" (US #16), Bush's "I Can Hear You Calling", and Allen Toussaint's "Play Something Sweet" (US #33).
Three Dog Night made its official debut in 1968 at the Whiskey a Go Go, at a 5 p.m. press party hosted by Dunhill Records. They were still in the process of making their first album Three Dog Night when they heard the favorable reactions from the hypercritical audience.
The album Three Dog Night was a success with its hit songs "One", "Try A Little Tenderness", and "Nobody" and helped the band gain recognition and become one of the top drawing concert acts of their time.
In December, 1972, Three Dog Night hosted Dick Clark's first New Year's Eve special, which was then entitled Three Dog Night's New Year's Rockin' Eve.
In 1973, Three Dog Night filed a $6 million lawsuit against their former booking agent, American Talent International (ATI) for continuing to advertise in the media that the band was still with their agency when in fact they signed with William Morris Agency in October 1972. Other damages were sought due to ATI taking deposits for booking Three Dog Night, whom they no longer represented.
Joe Schermie left in early 1973 due to "problems arising that were apparently unresolvable". He was replaced by Jack Ryland in 1973, and the band then became an eight-piece with the inclusion of another keyboard player, Skip Konte (ex-Blues Image), in late 1973. In late 1974, Allsup and Sneed left to form a new band, SS Fools, with Schermie and Bobby Kimball of Toto. New guitarist James "Smitty" Smith and drummer Mickey McMeel were recruited, but by 1975, Smith was replaced by Al Ciner from Rufus and the American Breed, and Ryland by Rufus bassist Dennis Belfield.
By 1973, Danny Hutton was becoming sick on a regular basis and had developed Jaundice from incessant and uncontrolled drug abuse. The band was forced to hire a registered nurse to administer Vitamin B12 shots to Danny and take care of him so the band could continue touring. For the upcoming albums Cyan, Hard Labor, and Coming Down Your Way, Danny began to not show up for the recording sessions and would sometimes be present only to record just one song, then disappear. This explains why, on all of the aforementioned albums, Danny only sings sole lead vocals on just one track off of each. Cory Wells became fed up with his frequent absence and Danny was fired from the band in late 1975. He was replaced by Jay Gruska.
Coming Down Your Way, released sometime in May 1975, failed to sell well in the United States, likely due to poor promotion on account of the bands recently switched label, ABC, and the growing popularity of Disco music. Disappointed by this, the band decided "Til The World Ends" would be the only single released off the album, which ended up being the group's last Billboard Hot 100 Top 40 hit.
Jay Gruska toured with the band to promote their last album, American Pastime, released sometime in March 1976. Still, the album didn't sell well for the same reasons as before. However, the only single released off the album, "Everybody Is a Masterpiece" became an Adult Contemporary hit. Another former Rufus band member, Ron Stockert, was recruited as second keyboardist after Konte left sometime in 1976. The group played their final show at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles on July 26, 1976.
In 1981, Three Dog Night reunited and released the ska-inspired It's a Jungle in 1983 on the small Passport Records label, which garnered some airplay on the new wave circuit. The EP failed to sell after Passport went bankrupt. The reunion featured all of the original members, except Joe Schermie, who was succeeded by Mike Seifrit until 1982, and then by Richard Grossman, who stayed until 1984. Two guitarists, Paul Kingery and Steve Ezzo, occasionally played with the band, filling in for Allsup on dates he was not able to make between 1982 and 1984. Ezzo replaced Allsup when he departed in late 1984 to take care of some personal and family matters. Sneed was let go from the band at the same time. In early 1985, keyboardist Rick Serratte (formerly of Poco and later with Whitesnake and others) filled in for Greenspoon, who was ill, and the band hit the road with a revised lineup that included Serratte, Steve Ezzo, bassist Scott Manzo and drummer Mike Keeley. But a spring and summer tour that same year was postponed after Negron and Greenspoon were both forced to enter drug rehab. By late 1985, Greenspoon and Negron were back touring with the group.
By December 1985, after a relapse into his drug habit, Negron was let go, and the group continued with Wells and Hutton fronting the band and Paul Kingery was brought back on guitar to cover Chuck's vocal harmonies. In 1986, their song "In My Heart" was featured in Robotech: The Movie.
More changes in personnel occurred when guitarist T.J. Parker and vocalist and bassist Gary Moon replaced Kingery and Manzo in 1988, and were replaced themselves by Mike Cuneo and Richard Campbell during 1989.
Allsup returned to the group to replace Cuneo in the spring of 1991. Negron entered drug rehab, but did not return to the band.
Pat Bautz succeeded Keeley as drummer in 1993.
In 1993, Three Dog Night performed for The Family Channel show Spotlight on Country, filmed in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Kingery returned to the band as their bass player in 1996 following Campbell's departure.
In May 2002, Three Dog Night With The London Symphony Orchestra was released. The album was recorded in Los Angeles and in London at Abbey Road Studios. The album includes two new songs: "Overground" and "Sault Ste. Marie".
Original bassist Joe Schermie died on March 26, 2002.
In the summer of 2004, the band's 80s bassist, Scott Manzo, returned briefly to fill in for Paul Kingery.
In October 2004, Three Dog Night released The 35th Anniversary Hits Collection Featuring The London Symphony Orchestra. The album includes live versions of "Eli's Coming", "Brickyard Blues", "Try a Little Tenderness", and "Family of Man".
In 2007, Sky Television launched a new ad campaign in the UK, which promoted the company's aspirations to be seen as an environmentally friendly company, and used the band's song "Joy To The World".
On October 24, 2009, Three Dog Night released three new songs – "Heart of Blues" and "Prayer of the Children", as well as "Two Lights In The Nighttime".
Although an EP of five new songs was recorded and released in 1983, and two new songs were issued on Three Dog Night's 35th Anniversary Hits Collection Featuring The London Symphony Orchestra, Three Dog Night has not recorded a full-length album since 1976's American Pastime.
In the late summer of 2012, guitarist Allsup was hospitalized for an intestinal disorder, forcing Kingery to temporarily move back to guitar, while Danny's son, Timothy Hutton, currently a Los Angeles music studio owner, manned the bass slot. This happened again during the summer of 2015 when Allsup was again forced to miss some shows.
On March 11, 2015, Jimmy Greenspoon died from cancer, aged 67. His place at the keyboards was taken by Eddie Reasoner. who had come in to sub for Jimmy when he'd first taken ill in mid-2014.
On October 21, 2015 Cory Wells died at his home in Dunkirk, New York. He was 74. Wells' cause of death was sepsis while battling multiple myeloma.
In November 2015 it was announced that singer David Morgan (a former member of the Association) would be joining Three Dog Night on the road.
Lead vocal creditsEdit
- "An Old Fashioned Love Song" – Negron
- "Black and White" – Hutton
- "Celebrate" – Hutton (Verse 1), Negron (Verse 2), Wells (Verse 3), who sings melody through the end refrain
- "Easy to Be Hard" – Negron
- "Eli's Coming" – Wells
- "Joy to the World" – Negron
- "Let Me Serenade You" – Wells
- "Liar" – Hutton
- "Mama Told Me (Not to Come)" – Wells
- "Never Been to Spain" – Wells
- "One" – Negron
- "One Man Band" – Hutton sings melody with Negron on harmony on verses, then Negron takes the lead through the end refrain
- "Out in the Country" – Group vocal in unison
- "Pieces of April" – Negron
- "Play Something Sweet (Brickyard Blues)" – Wells
- "Shambala" – Wells
- "Sure As I'm Sittin' Here" – Wells
- "The Family of Man" – Hutton (Verse 1), Negron (Verse 2), Wells (Verse 3)
- "The Show Must Go On" – Negron
- "Til the World Ends" – Negron
- "Try a Little Tenderness" – Wells
- "Your Song" – Hutton
(Three Dog Night)
Awards and recognitionEdit
- Three Dog Night was inducted into The Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2000.
- George-Warren, Holly; Romanowski, Patricia, eds. (2001). The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll (3rd ed.). Fireside. p. 990. ISBN 0-7432-9201-4.
- Negron, Chuck (2008). Three Dog Nightmare: The Continuing Chuck Negron Story. Literary Architects. p. 68. ISBN 978-1-9336-6913-7.
- "Three Dog Night". Billboard.
- Chawkins, Steve (February 18, 2015). "June Fairchild dies at 68; former actress lived on skid row". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 15, 2015.
- Jimmy Greenspoon; Mark Bego (1991). One Is the Loneliest Number: On the Road and Behind the Scenes With the Legendary Rock Band Three Dog Night. Amazon.co.uk. ISBN 9780886876470. Retrieved March 11, 2015.
- Orloff, Kathy. "Three Dog Night—A Howling Success Story". Los Angeles Times (1923–Current file), May 23, 1971, pp. 1-q16.
- Echazabal, Gabe. "Dick Clark's New Year's Eve special first aired on this day in 1972". Creative Loafing. Retrieved December 31, 2018.
- "Billboard - Google Books". Books.google.co.uk. February 3, 1973. Retrieved August 26, 2015.
- "Michael Allsup Website". Retrieved February 14, 2019.
- "Chuck Negron Michael Artsis Show Interview". Retrieved February 14, 2019.
- Wirephoto, A. P. "Arrested just before Concert Tour." Chicago Tribune (1963-Current file), Jul 04 1975, p. 5.
- "Three Dog Night Chart History - Adult Contemporary". Retrieved December 13, 2018.
- "Three Dog Night Chart History – Billboard 200". Retrieved December 13, 2018.
- Jimmy Greenspoon; Mark Bego (1991). One Is the Loneliest Number: On the Road and Behind the Scenes With the Legendary Rock Band Three Dog Night. Amazon.co.uk. ISBN 9780886876470. Retrieved 2015-03-11.
- "Three Dog Night – Chart history". Billboard.com. Retrieved March 12, 2015.
- Vanmetre, Elizabeth (March 11, 2015). "Jimmy Greenspoon of Three Dog Night has died from cancer at age 67". Daily News. Retrieved March 12, 2015.
- Rosen, Jody (25 June 2019). "Here Are Hundreds More Artists Whose Tapes Were Destroyed in the UMG Fire". The New York Times. Retrieved 28 June 2019.
- Three Dog Nightmare. Chuck Negron. Renaissance Books 1st edition (June 1999) ISBN 1-58063-040-5
- One Is the Loneliest Number: On the Road and Behind the Scenes With the Legendary Rock Band Three Dog Night. Greenspoon, Jimmy and Bago, Mark. Pharos Books (January 1991). ISBN 0-88687-647-8
- Lawrence, Guy (2006). "Yogi Bear's Nuggets: A Hanna-Barbera 45 Guide". Spectropop.com
- Bubblegum University