Black and White (Three Dog Night song)

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"Black and White"
Single by Three Dog Night
from the album Seven Separate Fools
B-side Freedom for the Stallion
Released 1972
Format 7" 45 RPM
Genre Pop
Length 3:51 (album), 3:24 (single)
Label Dunhill
Writer(s) David I. Arkin, Earl Robinson
Three Dog Night singles chronology
"The Family of Man" "Black and White" "Pieces of April"

"Black and White" is a song written in 1954 by David I. Arkin and Earl Robinson.

The most successful recording of the song was the pop version by Three Dog Night in 1972, when it reached number one on both the Billboard Hot 100 and Billboard Easy Listening charts. This was one of the few hits for Three Dog Night on which Danny Hutton sang the lead vocals.

Earl Robinson's recording was released on the Folkways album A Walk in the Sun (and Other Songs and Ballads); the title refers to the song written for the 1945 film A Walk in the Sun.[1]

The song was inspired by the United States Supreme Court decision of Brown v. Board of Education that outlawed racial segregation of public schools. It was first recorded by Pete Seeger in 1956, followed by Sammy Davis Jr. in 1957.[2] The original lyrics of the song opened with this verse, in reference to the court:

Their robes were black, Their heads were white,
The schoolhouse doors were closed so tight,
Nine judges all set down their names,
To end the years and years of shame.

Reggae groups The Maytones,[3] from Jamaica, and Greyhound, from the UK, both recorded the song in 1971, the latter achieving a UK top ten hit.[4] Having heard the Greyhound version, which did not include the verse describing the court, Three Dog Night included the song in their 1972 album Seven Separate Fools.[5] This version of the song peaked at number one on the U.S. pop chart on September 16, 1972, and topped the easy listening chart on October 7.[6]

See also[edit]

Preceded by
"Alone Again (Naturally)" by Gilbert O'Sullivan
Billboard Hot 100 number-one single
September 16, 1972 (one week)
Succeeded by
"Baby, Don't Get Hooked on Me" by Mac Davis

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.folkways.si.edu/TrackDetails.aspx?itemid=2647 Earl Robinson: A Walk in the Sun and Other Songs and Ballads
  2. ^ Second Hand Songs database
  3. ^ Trojan Records box set, The Trojan Story (1972, reissued 1980)
  4. ^ Black and White by Three Dog Night Songfacts
  5. ^ Liner notes, Ultimate Seventies: 1972, Time Life Records.
  6. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1996). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits, 6th Edition (Billboard Publications)