Three Dog Night

Three Dog Night is an American rock band best known for their music from 1968???1975. They are still making live appearances and recordings as of 2009.

The name

An official commentary included in the CD set Celebrate: The Three Dog Night Story, 1965-1975 states that vocalist Danny Hutton???s then-girlfriend June Fairchild thought of the name when she read 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 a night was especially cold, it was a "Three Dog Night".


Early Years

The band started in 1968 with three lead vocalists, Danny Hutton (who got his start with Hanna-Barbera Records in 1965), Chuck Negron, and Cory Wells who landed a recording contract with Dunhill Records in Los Angeles. They had made some early recordings in 1967 with Brian Wilson, and initially went by the name Redwood. Shortly after abandoning the Redwood moniker, the vocalists hired a group of backing musicians: Michael Allsup on guitar, Floyd Sneed on drums, Joe Schermie from the Cory Wells Blues Band on bass, and Jimmy Greenspoon on keyboards and soon became one of the most successful bands in the US during the late 1960s and early 1970s. On a number of early recordings as Three Dog Night one of their in-studio background singers was Donna Gaines, who would later find stardom on her own as Donna Summer.


Three Dog Night earned 13 gold albums and recorded 21 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. They had three U.S. number one songs: "Mama Told Me Not to Come", which was also their only Top 10 hit in the UK, "Joy to the World" and "Black and White". Dunhill Records claimed 40 million LP units were sold by them during that time period.


Three Dog Night covered songs by Randy Newman "Mama Told Me Not to Come", Laura Nyro "Eli's Coming" (US #10), Russ Ballard of Argent "Liar" (US #7), Hoyt Axton ("Joy to the World" & "Never Been To Spain"), Elton John and Bernie Taupin ("Lady Samantha" & "Your Song"), John Hiatt "Sure As I'm Sittin' Here" (US #16). Bush "I Can Hear You Callin'", Leo Sayer "The Show Must Go On" (US #4) and Harry Nilsson's "One" (US #5). Elton John later credited their cover of "Your Song" with being a major factor in catapulting him to stardom. They also popularized songs by Paul Williams "An Old Fashioned Love Song" (US#4) and "Out in the Country" (US #15) as well as "Easy to be Hard" from the musical Hair.


Joe Schermie was replaced by Jack Ryland in 1973, the band then became an eight-piece with the inclusion of another keyboard player, Skip Konte (ex-Blues Image). In late 1974, Allsup & Sneed left to form a new band, SS Fools, with Schermie. New members James "Smitty" Smith and 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, 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 band played their final show (at the time) 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, an EP released on the small Passport Records label which garnered some airplay on the New Wave circuit. The EP failed to sell well, because Passport became 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, came into the band for the next two years until 1984, in place of Michael Allsup. In 1985 a spring and summer tour was postponed but was soon revived with a lineup including, guitarist and vocalist Kingery, bassist Scott Manzo and drummer Mike Keely. By December 1985 Allsup, Sneed and Negron had left and the group continued with Wells and Hutton fronting the band. In 1986 their song "In My Heart" was featured in Robotech: The Movie. There were more changes in personnel when guitarist TJ Parker and vocalist Gary Moon replaced Kingery and Manzo in 1988, and in turn they were replaced by Mike Cuneo and Richard Campbell during 1989. Allsup returned to the group in the spring of 1991 and Pat Bautz succeeded Keely as drummer. In 1993, Three Dog Night performed for The Family Channel show Spotlight on Country, filmed in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Kingery returned as their bass player in 1996.


In 2007 Sky Television launched a new ad campaign in the UK. The campaign promoted the company's aspirations to be seen as an environmentally friendly company and used the Three Dog Night song "Joy To The World". In 2009 Three Dog Night is still touring and recording, performing 80 concerts a year and drawing large crowds. The current lineup features founding members Wells and Hutton, Greenspoon and Allsup along with longtime members Paul Kingery and Pat Bautz. Chuck Negron launched a solo career and is also touring and recording.

Recent albums

In May 2002, Three Dog Night With The London Symphony Orchestra was released. The album was recorded in Los Angeles and in London, England at Abby Road Studios. The album includes two new songs "Overground" and "Sault Ste. Marie".

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 along with "Overground" and "Sault Ste. Marie".

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

New album

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

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Original Wikipedia article: Dog Night