Three Dogs To Keep You Warm

Three Dog Night - Mama Told Me Not To Come

With the news of Three Dog Night’s Cory Wells death, the group is once again in the spotlight, but never have they been as huge as they were in the late 60’s and early 70’s. A lot of their peers at the time dismissed the Dogs as a Pop act with little substance; for starters most of their hits were written by others and reinterpreted in their own vocal style. Cory teamed up with Danny Hutton and Chuck Negron as the front men of a great band, so it was natural that folks would assume that the Three Dog part of their name was referring to Chuck, Danny and Cory. But the name actually came from a news report that Australian’s referred to a really cold night as a Three Dog, referring to needing to cuddle up with three dogs in the outback to stay warm.

I think at one time the Dogs were pretty much supporting Dunhill Records, and they were definitely an important part of the deal when that label was acquired by ABC Records. The 21 hits on the Billboard chart, including three Number Ones, made them a very valuable commodity, along with having sold 40 million records world-wide. They selected some great tunes from their contemporary songwriters to cover including: Harry Neilson’s "One," Laura Nyro’s "Eli’s Coming," and Randy Newman’s "Mama Told Me Not To Come," to name a few. For song stylists and interpreters, (Frank Sinatra, Elvis, etc.) selecting the right songs to record is the key to success, and the boys and their producers were masters of that, and ABC had a dynamite promotion force to work them.

While at ABC Records I had the pleasure of covering several of their gigs back in the day, and found the guys to be pleasant, approachable and easier to work with then some of the other acts. One day though, Chuck Negron turned up with a broken arm in a sling before a show; as I remember, it was explained that there had been an exceptionally attractive young lady backstage the other night and a tussle had ensued for her favors. But as you probably guessed, that itself wasn’t an uncommon occurrence within the big groups, although it seldom led to broken bones.

Three Dog Night - Easy to be Hard

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