Three Dog Night

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Three Dog Night
Threedognight2007.JPG
Background information
Also known as Redwood (1967-1968)
Origin Los Angeles, California, United States
Genres Pop rock,[1] soft rock,[2] blue-eyed soul[3]
Years active 1967–76, 1981–present
Labels Dunhill Records, ABC Records, MGM Records, MCA Records, Epic Records, CBS Records, Columbia Records, Polygram, Polydor, Universal Music and Sony Music.
Associated acts The Enemys, Cory Wells Blues Band, SS Fools
Members Danny Hutton
Michael Allsup
Paul Kingery
Pat Bautz
Eddie Reasoner
David Morgan
Past members Cory Wells (deceased)
Chuck Negron
Jimmy Greenspoon (deceased)
Floyd Sneed
Joe Schermie (deceased)
Ron Morgan
Jack Ryland
Skip Konte
Mickey McMeel
James "Smitty" Smith
Dennis Belfield
Al Ciner
Jay Gruska
Ron Stockert
Mike Seifrit
Richard Grossman
Mike Keeley
Scott Manzo
Steve Ezzo
Gary Moon
T.J. Parker
Richard Campbell
Mike Cuneo

Three Dog Night is an American rock band. They formed in 1967 with a line-up 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. It helped introduce mainstream audiences to the work of many songwriters, including Paul Williams, Hoyt Axton, Laura Nyro, Harry Nilsson, Randy Newman, and Leo Sayer.

Band name origin[edit]

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 (wild dog). On colder nights they would sleep with two dogs and, if the night was freezing, it was a "three dog night".[4]

Background[edit]

Early years[edit]

Negron, Wells and Hutton in 1969

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 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.[5]

Success[edit]

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.

Songs[edit]

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), and Bush's "I Can Hear You Callin'".

History[edit]

1973–76[edit]

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.[6]

Joe Schermie 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 1974, Allsup and Sneed left to form a new band, SS Fools, with Schermie. New members 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 1976, their run of hit records had ended and Hutton was succeeded by Jay Gruska.

From JayGruska.com: Over the years I’ve been asked if it’s true that I toured with Three Dog Night, I thought this was a good place to set the record straight since Wikipedia has as much opinion as it does fact. After writing a couple of songs for them, and doing some background vocals on one of their albums, I was asked to do a national tour of 10 to 12 thousand seat venues as the ‘3rd Dog’, as it were. They had been at it for the last 6 or 7 years as one of the biggest bands in the world, doing stadium tours, and now they were going to do smaller venues, a mere 10, 000 people. Having played mostly clubs until then, these were giant venues for me and I was both thrilled and petrified. I had an incredibly great time singing with Cory Wells and Chuck Negron—both amazing singers. I had a chance to play piano on a couple of songs in the set and most amazingly, that band could do a 90 minute set of ALL HITS. The first picture below, (sorry about the quality) was the last gig of the tour at the Greek Theater in L.A.

However, this lineup was short-lived. Another former Rufus band member, Ron Stockert, was recruited as second keyboardist after Konte left that same year. After a summer concert tour was cut short, the group played their final show at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles on July 26, 1976.[7]

1981–90s[edit]

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.[8] 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.

2000–present[edit]

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 26 March 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".

In August 2008. Three Dog Night Greatest Hits Live was released, a compilation of previously unissued live 1972 and 1973 recordings from concerts in Frankfurt, Germany, and Edmonton, England.[9]

On October 24, 2009, Three Dog Night released two new songs – '"Heart of Blues" and "Prayer of the Children".

A new studio album, the group's first in 24 years, is being recorded during breaks from touring using producer Richie Podolor. 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.

Current activity[edit]

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.[10]

On October 21, 2015, Cory Wells died at his home in Dunkirk, New York. His age at time of death was 74. Wells' cause of death was sepsis while battling multiple myeloma. Funeral services were private, and he is buried in Dunkirk. When he was not performing on tour, he was often seen fishing at Lake Erie.

In November 2015, it was announced that David Morgan would be joining Three Dog Night on the road.

Personnel[edit]

Members[edit]

Timeline[edit]

Lead vocal credits[edit]

Lineups[edit]

1967-1968
(Redwood)
1968-1973
(Three Dog Night)
1973 1973-1974
  • Danny Hutton - vocals
  • Chuck Negron - vocals
  • Cory Wells - vocals
  • Michael Allsup - guitar
  • Jimmy Greenspoon - keyboards
  • Floyd Sneed - drums
  • Jack Ryland - bass
  • Danny Hutton - vocals
  • Chuck Negron - vocals
  • Cory Wells - vocals
  • Michael Allsup - guitar
  • Jimmy Greenspoon - keyboards
  • Floyd Sneed - drums
  • Jack Ryland - bass
  • Skip Konte - keyboards
1974-1975 1975-1976 1976 1976
  • Danny Hutton - vocals
  • Chuck Negron - vocals
  • Cory Wells - vocals
  • Jimmy Greenspoon - keyboards
  • Jack Ryland - bass
  • Skip Konte - keyboards
  • Mickey McMeel - drums
  • James "Smitty" Smith - guitar
  • Danny Hutton - vocals
  • Chuck Negron - vocals
  • Cory Wells - vocals
  • Jimmy Greenspoon - keyboards
  • Skip Konte - keyboards
  • Mickey McMeel - drums
  • Dennis Belfield - bass
  • Al Ciner - guitar
  • Chuck Negron - vocals
  • Cory Wells - vocals
  • Jimmy Greenspoon - keyboards
  • Skip Konte - keyboards
  • Mickey McMeel - drums
  • Dennis Belfield - bass
  • Al Ciner - guitar
  • Jay Gruska - vocals
  • Chuck Negron - vocals
  • Cory Wells - vocals
  • Jimmy Greenspoon - keyboards
  • Mickey McMeel - drums
  • Dennis Belfield - bass
  • Al Ciner - guitar
  • Jay Gruska - vocals
  • Ron Stockert - keyboards
1976-1981 1981-1982 1982-1984 1985

Disbanded

  • Danny Hutton - vocals
  • Chuck Negron - vocals
  • Cory Wells - vocals
  • Jimmy Greenspoon - keyboards
  • Michael Allsup - guitar
  • Mike Seifrit - bass
  • Floyd Sneed - drums
  • Danny Hutton - vocals
  • Chuck Negron - vocals
  • Cory Wells - vocals
  • Jimmy Greenspoon - keyboards
  • Michael Allsup - guitar
  • Floyd Sneed - drums
  • Richard Grossman - bass
  • Paul Kingery - guitar, vocals (fill in for Allsup 1982-1983)
  • Steve Ezzo - guitar (fill in for Allsup 1983-1984)
  • Danny Hutton - vocals
  • Chuck Negron - vocals
  • Cory Wells - vocals
  • Rick Serratte - keyboards
  • Mike Keeley - drums
  • Steve Ezzo - guitar
  • Scott Manzo - bass
1985 1985-1988 1988-1989 1989-1991
  • Danny Hutton - vocals
  • Chuck Negron - vocals
  • Cory Wells - vocals
  • Jimmy Greenspoon - keyboards
  • Mike Keeley - drums
  • Steve Ezzo - guitar
  • Scott Manzo - bass
  • Danny Hutton - vocals
  • Cory Wells - vocals
  • Jimmy Greenspoon - keyboards
  • Mike Keeley - drums
  • Paul Kingery - guitar, vocals
  • Scott Manzo - bass
  • Danny Hutton - vocals
  • Cory Wells - vocals
  • Jimmy Greenspoon - keyboards
  • Mike Keeley - drums
  • Gary Moon - bass, vocals
  • T.J. Parker - guitar
  • Danny Hutton - vocals
  • Cory Wells - vocals
  • Jimmy Greenspoon - keyboards
  • Mike Keeley - drums
  • Richard Campbell - bass
  • Mike Cuneo - guitar
1991-1993 1993-1996 1996–2015 2015
  • Danny Hutton - vocals
  • Cory Wells - vocals
  • Jimmy Greenspoon - keyboards
  • Mike Keeley - drums
  • Richard Campbell - bass
  • Michael Allsup - guitar
  • Danny Hutton - vocals
  • Cory Wells - vocals
  • Jimmy Greenspoon - keyboards
  • Richard Campbell - bass
  • Michael Allsup - guitar
  • Pat Bautz - drums
  • Danny Hutton - vocals
  • Cory Wells - vocals
  • Jimmy Greenspoon - keyboards
  • Michael Allsup - guitar
  • Pat Bautz - drums
  • Paul Kingery - bass, vocals
  • Danny Hutton - vocals
  • Cory Wells - vocals
  • Michael Allsup - guitar
  • Pat Bautz - drums
  • Paul Kingery - bass, vocals
  • Eddie Reasoner - keyboards
2015–present
  • Danny Hutton - vocals
  • David Morgan - vocals
  • Michael Allsup - guitar
  • Pat Bautz - drums
  • Paul Kingery - bass, vocals
  • Eddie Reasoner - keyboards

Discography[edit]

For a more comprehensive list, see Three Dog Night discography.

Awards and recognition[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ George-Warren, Holly; Romanowski, Patricia, eds. (2001). The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll (3rd ed.). Fireside. p. 990. ISBN 0-7432-9201-4. 
  2. ^ Hoffmann, Frank, ed. (2005). "Soft Rock And Related Styles". Encyclopedia of Recorded Sound. 2. Routledge. pp. 1011–12. ISBN 0-415-93835-X. 
  3. ^ Negron, Chuck (2008). Three Dog Nightmare: The Continuing Chuck Negron Story. Literary Architects. p. 68. ISBN 978-1-9336-6913-7. 
  4. ^ Chawkins, Steve (2015-02-18). "June Fairchild dies at 68; former actress lived on skid row". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2015-03-15. 
  5. ^ 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. 
  6. ^ "Billboard - Google Books". Books.google.co.uk. 1973-02-03. Retrieved 2015-08-26. 
  7. ^ 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. 
  8. ^ 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. 
  9. ^ "Three Dog Night - Chart history". Billboard.com. Retrieved 2015-03-12. 
  10. ^ Vanmetre, Elizabeth (March 11, 2015). "Jimmy Greenspoon of Three Dog Night has died from cancer at age 67". Daily News. Retrieved 12 March 2015. 

References[edit]

External links[edit]