Three Dog Night – Joy To The World

Three Dog Night had this song in 1971 called “Joy to the World”. Turns out, it becomes one of the group’s biggest hits. While some people think this song is about a bullfrog, including myself as a kid, others, think that it has a religious tone with the bullfrog being the prophet Jeremiah from the bible.  Furthermore, while both sides make a pretty good case on each theory. It’s just a song that the songwriter Hoyt Axton wrote for an animated show and didn’t use. 

Axton presents it to the group as a possible track for an album while touring with the band. He meant to change this particular lyric because it was just a placeholder when writing it.  But he didn’t do it in time and voila! The song becomes a huge hit!  Either way, it’s uplifting and a lot of fun to listen to.  Last of all, because a radio station decides to play it, this track becomes a runaway hit. 

DJ Larry Bergman – KISW-FM

DJ Larry Bergman brings “Joy To The World” through the Seattle radio station KISW-FM.  While working at radio station KISW-FM at the time, which is the sister station to the number one radio station in Seattle, KJR-AM. His job was to select odd cuts from albums by popular artists and record them on tape for on-air use.  Needing something to finish off the tape, he picks Joy To The World which at the time is a b-side and the last cut on their album Naturally.  As soon as it plays on air, people started calling and the rest is history! 

The Band with Three Singers

The group forms in 1968 with Danny Hutton’s vision of a pop-rock act of three lead singers with shades of soul. He then joins Cory Wells and Chuck Negron to fulfill that vision along with musicians Jimmy Greenspoon (keyboards), Mike Allsup (guitar), Joe Schermie (bass), and Floyd Sneed (drums).

Three Dog Night scored a succession of 21 hit singles, including eleven Top Ten. As well as twelve consecutive gold albums from 1969 to 1975. Thanks to the  soulful vocal harmonies of singers Danny Hutton, Chuck Negron, and Cory Wells, who had an excellent ear for quality material. Besides the fantastic musicianship, these guys took the fans to another place in time. 

Partnering Up With Notable Songwriters

While the band wrote some of their songs, they preferred to work with outside writers or cover other writer’s songs. Some of these notable writers were Harry Nisson, Laura Nyro, Randy Newman, Paul Williams, Elton John and Bernie Taupin and Hoyt Axton to name a few.  While they had these amazing songwriters creating the lyrics, what took these songs over the top was the band’s interpretation of them. Especially with the song Eli’s Coming.  Not too many bands could match the incredible three-part harmony they have.

With this perfect combination, it’s no wonder that this band has had such great success. To this day, the band is still performing and touring. Sure, it’s not the original line-up, but the sound, vocals and top-notch performers are keeping the band going. Sure, over time they had their internal issues like most bands do with members leaving and such but, they have one hell of a musical legacy that has been celebrated for over five decades. 

Movies Featuring Three Dog Night’s Music

Three Dog Night hits wind through the fabric of pop culture today. Whether on the radio, TV commercials or in major motion pictures. Songs like “Mama Told Me (Not To Come)”, “Joy to the World”, “Black and White”, “Shambala” and “One” heighten our emotions and crystallize Three Dog Night’s continuing popularity. 

There are at least seventy-five credits featuring songs from this band. While I’m not going to go through everyone of them, I’ll highlight a few notable ones. First off,  “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas”, Forest Gump”, Very Bad Things”, “Magnolia”, “Boogie Nights” and “Lords of Dogtown” to name a few. 

Embracing 21st Century Technology

While some classic bands have retired and are content with calling it quits. Not Three Dog Night, they’ve embraced new technology and featuring their music down many avenues. You can find their music on most streaming sites. In fact, releases from this decade alone have sold well-over a million copies. Lately, their music is being used for commercials, video games and ring tones.  

Lastly, they’re pushed boundaries even further by recording with the London Symphony Orchestra in 2004, giving old and new fans a chance to experience the dynamic performances of the hits as well as several new songs. The project, was recorded at the famous Abbey Road studios in London and released to coincide with the band’s 35th Anniversary, adds exciting new orchestral arrangements to Three Dog Night’s signature sound. So as you can see, fans can still enjoy their music. 

For more information on the band, check out their web-site: https://www.threedognight.com/

Be sure, to check out the other blog posts we have on https://jbonamassa.com/category/blog/

 

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