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Three Dog Night

Perhaps inspired by the Moody Blues' successful ventures on the live orchestra circuit, 70s hit supergroup Three Dog Night ventured into their fourth decade with the CD and DVD concert collection, Three Dog Night With the London Symphony Orchestra. The album included all the classics that have never gone out of style ("Joy To The World,""Mama Told Me Not To Come," "Just An Old Fashioned Love Song") as well as two new tracks, the first fresh TDN material in over 20 years.

Three Dog Night's statistics are astonishing and virtually unmatched in popular music. In the years 1969 through 1974, no other group had more top 10 hits, moved more records or sold more concert tickets. Three Dog Night's success, particularly as a live attraction, was so overwhelming that out of necessity, they almost had to "invent" modern rock touring to meet the demands of their fans. The group had 21 consecutive Top 40 hits, 18 straight Top 20s, 11 Top 10s, 3 number 1s, seven million-selling singles and 12 straight RIAA Certified Gold albums. Testament to their broad appeal, Three Dog Night's hits –driven by the fluid harmonies of founding members Danny Hutton, Cory Wells and Chuck Negron, appeared on the pop, rock and country charts.

In 1965, Columbia Records signed former college basketball star Negron to a recording contract. While with the label, he learned a great secret of success that would come into play a few years later when he and friends Hutton and Wells formed their band. “You must be able to define yourself in some special way,” he says. “A unique vocal style, image or presence, through your song writing, or ability to pick great songs, arrange and produce them.”

Hutton, who had graduated from loading and unloading records at the Disney studio to recording as a solo artist, met Wells while he was touring with Sonny and Cher. The now-famous name came from a story about Australian aborigines who, on cold nights in the outback, sleep with their dogs for warmth. The coldest evenings are known as "three dog nights."

Aside from their eclectic tastes, one of the keys to TDN's success was recording the music of the best new songwriters of their time including Harry Nilsson, Leo Sayer, Randy Newman, Elton John, Laura Nyro, Paul Williams and Hoyt Axton among many others. Negron’s keen ear for great songs and contacts with former publishing friends led to ultimately classic renditions of “Just an Old Fashioned Love Song,” “Lady Samantha,” “Eli’s Coming” and “Joy To the World,” 1971’s Grammy Winner for Record of the Year.

Three Dog Night toured extensively in the years after the group was founded, but in 1975, the non-stop concerts and hit-making took its toll. By 1976, internal dissent arose in the group, as the original concept of three equal singers had given way to Negron taking the leads on most of their songs. Dissatisfied, Hutton finally left the group, and Three Dog Night officially disbanded a year later. Their desire to get away from the hectic world of pop music was relatively short-lived however, and by 1981 they discovered that they wanted to perform again.

While in recent years Hutton and Wells have taken a version of the group out on the ever-lucrative oldies circuit, Negron—having cleaned up his own act over the last decade, performs upwards of 70 shows a year, showcasing material from his four solo CDs. Negron also penned a memoir called Three Dog Nightmare, a chronicle of glory days, dissension and his personal addictions, as well as his newfound road to recovery.

© 2004