THREE DOG NIGHT 1969 to 1974, The Top American Rock Band

Chuck Negron during a Three Dog NIght performance - video still used with permission from Chuck Negron
Chuck Negron during a Three Dog NIght performance - video still used with permission from Chuck Negron

Three Dog Night was considered by many to be the top rock and roll band from 1969 to 1974. They had 21 hit songs and were among the first American bands to enter the era of stadium rock. "Joy to the World" is their most recognized song, which starts with the line, "Jeremiah was a bullfrog!" Although, Three Dog Night was much more than the song about a frog.

Chuck Negron, Michael Allsup
Chuck Negron, Michael Allsup
Lead singers Cory Wells, Danny Hutton, and Chuck Negron -all photos in this article provided by Steve D. Sodikoff with permission
Lead singers Cory Wells, Danny Hutton, and Chuck Negron -all photos in this article provided by Steve D. Sodikoff with permission


Three Dog Night Hit Songs

Nobody

Try a Little Tenderness

One ("One is the loneliest number")

Easy to Be Hard

Eli's Coming

Celebrate

Mama Told Me Not to Come

One Man Band

Joy to the World

Liar

Old Fashioned Love Song

Never Been to Spain

Family of Man

Black and White

Pieces of April

Shambala

Let Me Serenade You

The Show Must Go On

Sure As I'm Sitting Here

Play Something Sweet (Brickyard Blues)

I'd Be So Happy

The seven member band was a rich collaboration of of musical styles from rock and roll, rhythm and blues, gospel, soul, Latin, and pop. They sought out the best songwriters' work and arranged these into their own style of songs which were unique, outstanding, and timeless. Three Dog Night's early 70s music has themes of peace and love, heartbreak, social responsibility, enjoying life, the ideal world, the rock and roll lifestyle, and ironically, lessons to be learned from the rock and roll lifestyle.Already a successful rock and roll recording artist, Danny Hutton had the idea to form a vocal group with three strong lead singers. They would sing harmony and take turns on lead solos. The Los Angeles band evolved as the seven found each other. Danny had toured as a backup singer with Cory Wells, who had a house band in a Los Angeles club. Cory had roots in gospel music. Danny was friends with Chuck Negron, who had sung doo-wop, rhythm and blues, and ballads. Chuck had recorded for Columbia and had performed with several vocal groups.

Danny knew the young and very talented Jimmy Greenspoon from his work as a studio musician, playing piano and organ. Cory had been in a band with Joe Schermie, a guitar bassist with experience in blues, jazz, Latin, and rock; he had an amazing sense of rhythm. Unfortunately, Joe Schermie died of a heart attack in 2002. Joe discovered Floyd Sneed, who had a unique style, mixing Latin and African percussion, calling it "Lafrican." Cory and Joe were looking for Michael Allsup, also young and accomplished as a lead guitarist; coincidently, Michael was moving into the city at the same time. The ages of all founding members ranged from 20 to 24. Only one year later, Three Dog Night had five hits, three gold records, a head-lining concert tour, and was called "the greatest group in the nation" by Record World magazine.

To describe the sound of Three Dog Night, all the lead vocals together were big and powerful, as though more than three guys were singing. The music had a wide variety; audiences didn't know what the band would do next. The sound was upbeat and rocking, mixed with an occasional soft ballad. Three Dog Night was considered to be more "cool" than some groups. Teens were allowed to listen to Three Dog Night, while parents were more wary of recordings by other rock bands. Many people then and now describe Three Dog Night songs as music that makes you feel good.

Joe Schermie, Cory Wells, Floyd Sneed,  Danny Hutton, Michael Allsup, Chuck Negron
Joe Schermie, Cory Wells, Floyd Sneed, Danny Hutton, Michael Allsup, Chuck Negron

by Barbara B. Eddins, all photos provided by Steve D. Sodikoff with permission

Comments 9 comments

KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 7 years ago from Central Texas

Thanks for answering my hub request! Great article. I saw Three Dog Night in concert and it was fabulous. I also know that the company I work for booked them for one of our national conventions a maybe 2 years ago. They had so many great hits.


Kosmo profile image

Kosmo 7 years ago from California

I remember those guys, particularly their song "One." They were certainly one of the best Top 40 acts from that era, along with Creedence and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. Thanks for the heads-up, dude. Hey, you actually got permission for showing photos, like "wow", man. Later!


BeanieCopter 7 years ago

Saw TDN this summer; the guys put on a great concert, and took me back to times no one should know about!


Luke James Donnelly 6 years ago

Rock on Three dog night!!!!!


Jeff Williams 6 years ago

Although Three Dog Night was considered to be the best then as they were, the band now days no longer has the great voice of the true lead singer of the band, that being Chuck Negron, seems that Chucks Drug addiction was to much for Danny And Cory to take so they got him to sign a paper saying that if he missed a concert ot date he was out of the band and also most all of the royalities for his songs he wrote and hwo the band got to be as big as they did. If you want to really go back in time to hear the real sounds of the group then watch out for and go see Chuck Negron in concert. even after he spent 25 years and lost everything due to his Herion addiction he can still to this day take you back to much simplier time.


EnjoyYourLife profile image

EnjoyYourLife 5 years ago from New York

OMG just stumbled upon this hub, and I adored this band. Brings me back to simpler times of being a young teen and the times they were a changin'. What a tumultuous time (politically) and the band's music reflected these changes in song. Bravo 3 Dog Night. I followed you from the 8 track tape days to this Ipod era. What could I say? They're the best..............


N.E. Wright profile image

N.E. Wright 5 years ago from Bronx, NY

Thank you, thank you, thank you. LOL.

I love Three Dog Night, because my father taught us the song Joy To The World. LOL. It was funny singing those words as a little kid with my siblings and father. Great memories.

I enjoyed learning things I just did not know before this article.

Their voices are as powerful as you said. LOL. I tried to explain that to my son when I began singing "Jeremiah was a bull frog ...." LOL. He jumped out of his skin. LOL.

Thank you so much for sharing this post.

Take Care,

N.E.


redwriterbb profile image

redwriterbb 5 years ago from Norfolk/Virginia Beach Area Author

You're welcome N.E. Wright! I hope to be writing more articles. The love of these songs continues. My sixteen year old and her friends love Three Dog Night music!


N.E. Wright profile image

N.E. Wright 5 years ago from Bronx, NY

Smart kids. LOL.

Take Care,

N.E.

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    Chuck Negron, Cory Wells, Danny Hutton, Michael Allsup, Joe Schermie
    Chuck Negron, Cory Wells, Danny Hutton, Michael Allsup, Joe Schermie
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