Three Dog promises hit after hit

July 26, 2012|By Heather Youmans
  • Danny Hutton
Danny Hutton (Daily Pilot )

Three Dog Night will celebrate more than 40 years of music when the band returns Sunday to the Pacific Amphitheatre.

The evening will include an opening performance from the Guess Who followed by two sets — roughly 80 to 85 minutes of music — by Three Dog Night.

The Grammy-nominated band is famous for its classic rock hits "Mama Told Me (Not To Come)," "Joy to the World," "Shambala," "One," "Celebrate," and "Black and White," which are still heard in commercials and movies and on oldies stations.

The band's name came from a story about Australian aborigines who, on cold nights in the outback, would sleep with their dogs for warmth.

The coldest evenings were known as "three dog nights."

Nowadays, the group's membership includes founding members Cory Wells and Danny Hutton on lead vocals, as well as original keyboardist Jimmy Greenspoon and guitarist Michael Allsup. Bassist and vocalist Paul Kingery and drummer Pat Bautz complete the lineup.


The band continues to play 60 to 80 show dates a year. And the last three dates of their 2012 tour have broken attendance records, according to Hutton.

"It [the dynamic] is wonderful," the 69-year-old said in phone interview. "Forty-two years later, we got it down.

"We're going to do all of the hits, and if you like the records, we sound like the records. We'll probably go deep into the catalog and do a couple songs that people haven't heard. And, we'll be doing a couple of new songs.

"But it's tough to put in new songs with the amount of hits we've had. It's hard to put something in between two gold singles."

The band's new material includes "Heart of Blues" and an a-cappella ballad, "Prayer of the Children," both of which were released in 2009.

In addition, "The Best of Three Dog Night: 20th Century Masters The Millennium Collection" was released in 2010 on the Geffen/UMe record label.

"We're excited because we will be receiving a platinum award after the show [at the Pacific Amphitheatre] for our "The Best of…" album that came out, Hutton said. "It was on the [Billboard Top 200 Album] charts for 42 weeks this year."

But even today, the band's formula for making records has not changed.

"All you can do, I think, is follow quality," Hutton said. "Don't follow trends. When you either create or hear a song that you really like that calls to you, just do it as best as you can and always try to bring in original sounds or little ideas vocally. And that's about all you can do."

Daily Pilot Articles Daily Pilot Articles