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Original band members included Cory Julius Wells (vocals; born February 5, 1942, in Buffalo, N.Y.); Charles "Chuck" Negron (vocals; born June 8, 1942, in Bronx, N.Y.); Daniel "Danny" Anthony Hutton (vocals; born September 10, 1942 [some sources say 1946], in Buncrana, Ireland); James "Jimmy" Boyd Greenspoon (keyboards; born February 7, 1948, in Los Angeles, Calif.); Michael Rand Allsup (guitar; born March 8, 1947, in Modesto, Calif.); Floyd Chester Sneed (drums; born November 22, 1943, in Calgary, Alberta, Canada); Joseph "Joe" Schermie (bass; born February 12, 1948, in Madison, Wis.). James "Smitty" Smith replaced Allsup in 1975. Skip Konto (keyboardist) was added to the group in 1974, and in 1973 Jack Ryland (bass; born June 7, 1949) replaced Schermie. In 1973 Dennis Belfield replaced Ryland on bass and in 1975 Mickey McMeel replaced Sneed on drums. Addresses: Record company-- MCA Records, Inc., 70 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, CA 91608.

Just what is a three dog night? Australian aboriginal custom has one sleep with his dogs for warmth when the temperature dips. The colder the night, the more dogs. A three dog night, then, is a very cold one. The group Three Dog Night, however, was anything but cold. On the contrary, they were one of the hottest acts of the 1970s, utilizing an electric rock format and featuring a strong vocal trio that belted out such rock classics as "Joy to the World," "Black and White," and, from the musical Hair, "Easy to Be Hard."

The group was organized in 1968 by Danny Hutton, a young singer-songwriter, producer, and vocalist who had had minor success with the song "Rises and Rainbows" in 1965. Hutton recruited Cory Wells, formerly of the Enemies, and Chuck Negron to form the tightly harmonized core of what would prove to be both a unique and highly successful rock group. A backup band was assembled out of various musicians in the Los Angeles area and remained a stable unit for nearly five years. Earning early successes on the West Coast club circuit and playing a long-term engagement at the Whisky-A-Go-Go, the group was soon offered a recording contract with ABC/Dunhill.

The Dogs' self-titled debut album appeared in 1969, launching them into a tremendously successful career. Three Dog Night--One went gold and yielded three singles: "Nobody," "Try a Little Tenderness," and the Number 1 hit "One," written by Harry Nilsson. The LP established the group as powerful performers capable of taking the compositions of others (Hoyt Axton, Paul Williams, and Laura Nyro, for instance) and turning them into hits. In the same prodigious year, as the group became an increasingly popular live act, their second album, Suitable for Framing, produced three major hits in "Celebrate," "Eli's Coming," and the heart-wrenching ballad "Easy to Be Hard" from the rock opera Hair. Over a relatively short period of time, the group achieved a number of best-selling albums including Seven Separate Fools, Cyan, Coming Down Your Way, and American Pastime, attained twelve consecutive certified gold albums, and scored major hits with such songs as "Out In the Country"(from It Ain't Easy, 1970), "Joy to the World" (from Naturally, 1970), "An Old-Fashioned Love Song" (from Harmony, 1971), "Pieces of April," and what would become something of a children's national anthem in "Black and White" (from Seven Separate Fools, 1972). Even as their popularity waned on the East and West Coasts, the group continued to play to record crowds in sports stadiums in such places as Dallas, Texas, and Atlanta, Georgia.

The band's later history was dotted with changes in personnel until percussionist Floyd Sneed, bass player Jack Ryland, and lead guitarist Mike Allsup all left in 1975 to form S. S. Fools. The Dogs disbanded in 1976, and member Cory Wells went on to pursue a solo career in 1978. Throughout the Dogs' career, critics made few comments aside from the fact that the group did not write the songs they were fashioning into hits--a major no-no after the whirlwind success of such song masters as the Beatles' John Lennon and Paul McCartney. According to John Wasserman in his 1972 article for Saturday Review , "The problem seems to be that nobody takes them seriously." He indicated that the group's music was not terribly innovative, nor was the group itself raunchy, ethnically rich, or in trouble with the law. They were, he contended, "accomplished professionals, excellent entertainers, and clearly able to reach vast audiences." Writing the music, according to this commentator, was not nearly as important as delivering it successfully. On this count, the Dogs made good.

by Meg Mac Donald

Three Dog Night's Career

The group was organized in 1968 by Danny Hutton; recorded first LP in 1969, with Dunhill Records; toured beginning in 1969; achieved six gold records. Disbanded in 1976.

Famous Works

Further Reading



Three Dog Night Lyrics

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about 13 years ago

Could you tell me the date Three Dog Night first played at the old Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh. I know the year was 1971 but different sources show different dates. What is the real one?

over 14 years ago

I have been searching for "The Ryland's" for some time. I was a neighbor when Jack lived in RHE, Ca. I remember going next door (I was VERY young) and watching them "jam". I was a friend of the family but lost contact when we moved. I see it's been 15 years since his Death. I am without words. I am very saddened.

about 15 years ago

I just happened to see this when I was trying to look something up, and had to make a correction. My brother, Jack Ryland, was born on Nov. 15, 1950.

almost 16 years ago

I just seen you guys at the Atlantic City Hilton Show and as usual you guys are always teriffic as great as ever. Must ask about Chuck , do you ever feel thier will be a grand reunion for all 3 of you SOON I feel you would sell out on many large areas as you did before , have you guys talked about it, or are you guys diffenently just going to leave the groupa as is. Since Chuck is ow on his own , I can't wait to read his book I have just heard about his drugs and serious problems with the law , please try to email with someinf on future plans ( keep in mind your Harmony is still perfectly done so good ) my best wished for you guys always listen to you at home. Have always been personally with your group since day 1 and will always be , have every single song you guys have made , Best Guards and wishes from me and my gang Lee

about 16 years ago

This message is for Danny Hutton, mainly... I use to come to your house and swim in your pool with Tim A. and Eddy Vandergrift. eddy was my boyfriend back in the 70ty's. Anyhow Danny, I wanted to let you know that Last year Eddy died of deliberate starvation. He was 80ty lbs. when he died. ZI believe after his mother died he totally gave up on life and only drank boose and smoked cigs. I'm sorry to be the one to tell you this. feel free Danny to email me anytime. I also liked your ma a lot. her and her knitting.LOL. Anyhow, may yours and you be well and peace to all of you, that included Cory, and Chuck too. i wish the best for all of you. Judi

over 16 years ago

In S.S. Fools the bass player you listed is incorrect. The bass player for S.S. Fools was JOE SHERMIE. My husband Stan Seymore and Mike Allsup on guitar, Wayne and Bobby Kimball (Toto). Floyd Sneed DRUMS Thanks Brenda

over 16 years ago

I just love Three Dog Night. They are still awesome after all these years. They can really belt out all the old songs !!!! Go Three Dog Night.... Kim Hoegerl Buffalo NY.