Black and White (Pete Seeger song)
|"Black and White"|
|Single by Three Dog Night|
|from the album Seven Separate Fools|
|B-side||"Freedom for the Stallion"|
|Songwriter(s)||David I. Arkin, Earl Robinson|
|Three Dog Night singles chronology|
"Black and White" is a song written in 1954 by David I. Arkin and Earl Robinson. It was first recorded by Pete Seeger featuring an African American child, in 1956 from the album Love Songs for Friends & Foes.
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. Billboard ranked it as the number 63 song for 1972. This was one of the few hits for Three Dog Night on which Danny Hutton sang the lead vocals.
Following Seeger's version, the song's writer Earl Robinson released his own recording in 1957, on the Folkways album A Walk in the Sun and other Songs and Ballads. (The album title refers to a song written for the 1945 film A Walk in the Sun.) Sammy Davis Jr. released his version also in 1957.
Having heard the Greyhound version, Three Dog Night covered the song and included it on their 1972 album Seven Separate Fools. Their version, which featured a group of children, plus a freely spoken recitation by Danny Hutton in the coda section 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. Billboard ranked it as the number 63 song for 1972.
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.
However, the version of the song recorded by Greyhound, and subsequently covered by Three Dog Night, did not include this verse, making the song more universal and less historically specific.
|United States (RIAA)||Gold||1,000,000^|
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.
- List of Hot 100 number-one singles of 1972 (U.S.)
- List of number-one adult contemporary singles of 1972 (U.S.)
- Billboard Year-End Hot 100 singles of 1972
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- Trojan Records box set, The Trojan Story (1972, reissued 1980)
- "Liner notes". Ultimate Seventies: 1972. Time Life Records.
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- Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955-1990 - ISBN 0-89820-089-X
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- "Cash Box Top 100 Singles, September 30, 1972". Archived from the original on September 13, 2016. Retrieved January 13, 2018.
- "Musicoutfitters.com". Archived from the original on 2017-04-27. Retrieved 2018-01-13.
- "Cash Box Year-End Charts: Top 100 Pop Singles, December 30, 1972". Archived from the original on September 28, 2018. Retrieved January 13, 2018.
- "American single certifications – Three Dog Night – Black & White". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved February 14, 2019.
- on YouTube