About Three Dog Night
Three Dog Night is an American rock band formed in 1967, with founding members consisting of vocalists Danny Hutton, Cory Wells, and Chuck Negron. This lineup was soon augmented by Jimmy Greenspoon , Joe Schermie , Michael Allsup , and Floyd Sneed . The band had 21 Billboard Top 40 hits between 1969 and 1975, with three hitting number one. Three Dog Night recorded many songs written by outside songwriters, and they helped to introduce mainstream audiences to writers such as Randy Newman , Paul Williams , and Hoyt Axton .
The official commentary included in the CD set Celebrate: The Three Dog Night Story, 1965–1975 states that vocalist Danny Hutton's girlfriend, actress June Fairchild suggested the name after reading a magazine article about Aboriginal Australians, in which it was explained that on cold nights they would customarily sleep while embracing a dingo, a native species of wild dog. On colder nights they would sleep with two dogs and, if the night were freezing, it was a "three dog night".
Musician Van Dyke Parks, an arranger at Warner Bros Records, disputed the above story and claimed that he coined the name. He wrote, "I wuz nuts about Hutton's girlfriend. Quite a dancer. Yet, she didn't read Mankind magazine, nor have an inkling of anthropology and the cold aboriginal nights that inspired my suggestion."
The three vocalists, Danny Hutton , Chuck Negron, and Cory Wells first came together in 1967. They initially went by the name of Redwood and made some recordings with Brian Wilson while the Beach Boys were working on the album Wild Honey.
Redwood were briefly poised to be one of the first artists signed to the Beach Boys' Brother Records. According to Beach Boy Mike Love, " had them in the studio for several days, and he was really funny. They didn't meet up to his expectations. ... They'd go in and they wouldn't sing well enough for him. ... but they went off and made billions." Brian attempted to produce an album for Redwood, but after the recording of three songs, including "Time to Get Alone" and "Darlin'", this motion was halted by his bandmates, who wanted Brian to focus on the Beach Boys' contractual obligations. According to Negron, due to the commercial failure of Smiley Smile and Brian's waning commitment to his band, "the other Beach Boys wanted Brian's immense songwriting and producing talents used strictly to enhance their own careers". Negron then noted that he would have done the same thing if in the Beach Boys' position.
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. Morgan left the band before its first album was recorded and subsequently joined the Electric Prunes. Michael Allsup was quickly recruited to replace Morgan on guitar.
Three Dog Night made its official debut in 1968 at the Whisky a Go Go, at a 5 p.m. press party hosted by Dunhill Records. They were still in the process of making their first album Three Dog Night when they heard the favorable reactions from the hypercritical audience.
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