Induct 3 Dog Night into The Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame

An official commentary included in the CD set Celebrate: The Three Dog Night Story, 1965-1975 states that vocalist Danny Hutton’s then-girlfriend June Fairchild thought of the name when she read a magazine article about Indigenous Australians, in which it was explained that on cold nights they would customarily sleep in a hole in the ground while embracing a dingo, a native species of wild dog. On colder nights they would sleep with two dogs, and if a night was especially cold, it was a “Three Dog Night

History

Early years
The band started with three lead vocalists — Danny Hutton, Chuck Negron, and Cory Wells — who landed a recording contract with Dunhill Records in Los Angeles. They made some early recordings with Beach Boys producer, composer, vocalist, and instrumentalist Brian Wilson, and initially went by the name Redwood. Shortly after changing the band's name, the vocalists hired a group of backing musicians — Michael Allsup on guitar, Floyd Sneed on drums, (Mickey McMeel on drums from 1973 to 1976), Joe Schermie (from the Cory Wells Blues Band) on bass, and Jimmy Greenspoon on keyboards — and soon became one of the most successful bands of the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Three Dog Night earned 14 gold albums and recorded 21 Billboard Top 40 hits, 9 of which went gold. Their first gold record was "One" in 1969, followed by "Easy To Be Hard," from the musical Hair. They had three U.S. number one songs: "Mama Told Me Not to Come" (which was also their only Top 10 hit in the UK), "Joy to the World", and "Black and White". Dunhill Records claimed 40 million units sold by them.

Their covers of songs by Randy Newman ("Mama Told Me Not to Come"), Laura Nyro ("Eli's Coming"), Hoyt Axton ("Joy to the World"), Elton John and Bernie Taupin ("Lady Samantha" & "Your Song"), John Hiatt ("Sure As I'm Sittin' Here"), and Leo Sayer ("The Show Must Go On") were the first major hits for songs by these singer/songwriters. According to the commentary in the above-mentioned CD set, Elton John later credited their cover of "Your Song" with being a major factor in catapulting him to stardom. They also popularized songs by Harry Nilsson ("One") and Paul Williams ("An Old Fashioned Love Song").

Joe Schermie quit in 1973 and was replaced by Jack Ryland. The band then became an eight-piece with the induction of another keyboard player, Skip Konte. By 1976, Negron had become the principal vocalist, the streak of hit records had ended and a dissatisfied Hutton left the group. The group disbanded the following year, at least partly due to Negron's drug addiction problem.