June 8: Chuck Negron of Three Dog Night is 69 years-old today.

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How Three Dog Night got their name: The commentary included in the CD set Celebrate: The Three Dog Night Story, 1965-1975 states that vocalist Danny Hutton's then-girlfriend suggested the name after reading 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 whilst embracing a dingo, a native species of wild dog. On colder nights they would sleep with two dogs and if the night was freezing, it was a "three dog night."

Charles "Chuck" Negron was born in Manhattan and grew up in The Bronx, New York City. He sang in local doo-wop groups and played basketball both in schoolyard pick-up games and at Taft High School. He was recruited to play college basketball in California at a small junior college named Hancock College. Afterwards, he played at California State University, Los Angeles.

Negron joined singers Danny Hutton and Cory Wells to found Three Dog Night in 1968. They became one of the most successful bands of the late 1960s and early 1970s. The trio made some early recordings in 1967 with Brian Wilson and initially went by the name of Redwood. Shortly after abandoning the Redwood name, the vocalists hired a group of backing musicians – Michael Allsup on guitar, Floyd Sneed on drums, Joe Schermie from the Cory Wells Blues Band on bass, and Jimmy Greenspoon on keyboards–and soon became one of the most successful bands in the United States during the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Three Dog Night earned 13 gold albums and recorded 21 Billboard Top 40 hits, seven of which went gold. Their first gold record was "One" (US #5), which had been written and recorded by Harry Nilsson. They had three US 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 record albums were sold by the band during this time period.

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Three Dog Night/Suitable for FramingThree Dog Nightmare: The Chuck Negron Story


The rock and roll lifestyle took its toll on Negron, and by the time Three Dog Night disbanded in 1976, Negron had a serious heroin addiction problem which began in the early 1970s.
In July 1975, the British music magazine, NME, reported that Negron had been arrested for cocaine possession in Kentucky. He overcame his addiction in September 1991 and embarked on a solo career, recording three albums between 1995 and 1999: Am I Still In Your Heart, "Joy to the World" and Long Road Back.

He also wrote a 1999 autobiography, Three Dog Nightmare. In the book, Negron attributes his recovery from heroin addiction to his turning to God in desperation, after dropping out of over 30 drug treatment facilities.

His fourth solo effort was a double CD set titled Chuck Negron – Live In Concert, recorded at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, and released on Sindrome Records, with sidemen Richard Campbell on bass guitar, Danny Mishkit on guitar, keyboards and saxophone, Frank Reina on drums and Terence Elliott on lead guitar.

On October 24, 2009, Three Dog Night released two new songs - '"Heart of Blues"/"Prayer of the Children." The songs are available exclusively online at iTunes Three Dog Night, Facebook Store MySpace.

A new studio album, the group's first in 24 years, is being recorded during breaks from touring using producer Richie Podolor. Although an EP of five new songs was recorded and released in 1983, and two new songs were issued on Three Dog Night's 35th Anniversary Hits Collection Featuring The London Symphony Orchestra, Three Dog Night has not recorded a full-length album since 1976's American Pastime.