I got my first stereo in 1970, and went on a buying spree to get myself more albums. One of the albums I bought was Captured Live At The Forum by Three Dog Night. I liked the album so much I recommended it to a friend, and it became his favorite album as well. Not many years later, I was at a user conference where the social event was a “Sock Hop,” with music provided by, you guessed it, Three Dog Night. By that time they had dropped off the Top 40 and were striving to find relevance in a world that had moved on. They were one of the best vocal groups of the late Sixties and early Seventies, and have split up and reunited a couple of times. The only original singer is Danny Hutton (Cory Wells died last year, and Chuck Negron left in the early Eighties), and the backup band has lost keyboardist Jimmy Greenspoon in the last year. In all, they have earned twelve Gold albums and 21 Gold singles, primarily covers of songs written by songwriters such as Hoyt Axton, Laura Nyro, Harry Nilsson, Randy Newman, and Leo Sayer. Eleven of those singles reached the Top Ten, with three reaching #1.
Their first #1 single was “Mama Told Me Not To Come,” a Randy Newman composition that also reached #2 in Canada and #3 in the UK in 1970. It was on the album It Ain’t Easy, and it was one of the first singles I bought.
Their last #1 hit was 1972’s “Black And White,” a 1954 composition by David Arkin and Earl Robinson inspired by the Brown v. Board of Education court decision. It had been done previously by Pete Seeger and Sammy Davis Jr. It was from their album Seven Separate Fools and also reached #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart and in Canada, and #8 in Australia.
Three Dog Night, your Two for Tuesday, June 7, 2016.