Cory Wells, one of the founding members of Three Dog Night, has died at the age of 74.
The band appeared in the MontBleu Theatre at Lake Tahoe the last two summers.
Wells experienced back pain a few weeks before he died suddenly Oct. 20, 2015, at his home in Dunkirk, New York, according to the Associated Press. The cause of his death was unknown, Universal Music Enterprises spokeswoman Sujata Murphy said.
Formed in 1967, Three Dog Night had 21-straight songs reach the pop charts between 1969 and 1975. The rock band was unique in that it featured catchy harmonies with a gospel bent.
A highlight of the Aug. 1 show at Lake Tahoe was a light-hearted rap performance of “Mama Told Me (Not To Come),” which Wells said might have been one of the first hip-hop songs.
Wells’ voice sounded great, and he twice nailed the high notes on the song “One” from the band’s first gold record.
Wells, Danny Hutton and Chuck Negron started the band Redwood in 1964. They grew into Three Dog Night in 1968 with the additions of Mike Allsup, keyboardist Jimmy Greenspoon, bassist Joe Schermie and drummer Floyd Sneed.
Greenspoon died of cancer earlier this year.
According to the AP, Wells, a Polish-American with several polka players among his relatives, was born Emil Lewandowski in Buffalo. He joined the Air Force right out of high school and performed in local groups after returning. He moved to Los Angeles in the mid-1960s and while in the house band for the popular club the Whiskey A-Go-Go he met Hutton, a writer and producer at the time with Hanna-Barbera Records.
Three Dog Night’s 21 Consecutive Top 40 Hits
- Mama Told Me (Not To Come)#1
- Joy to The World #1
- Black And White #1
- Shambala #3
- Easy To Be Hard #4
- An Old Fashioned Love Song #4
- The Show Must Go On #4
- One #5
- Never Been To Spain #5
- Liar #7
- Eli’s Coming #10
- The Family Of Man #12
- Celebrate #15
- Out In The Country #15
- Sure As I’m Sittin’ Here #16
- Let Me Serenade You #17
- One Man Band #19
- Pieces Of April #19
- Try A Little Tenderness #29
- Til The World Ends #32
- Play Something Sweet (Brickyard Blues) #33
I met Corry Wells , and am good friends with Chuck and Danny , I graduated Clear Lake High School in 1979 Houston Texas and sung Symphonic Choir for four years earned 3 PHD in music before finishing high school Milton Pullen was conducting now with Bay Area Chorus Houston Texas , Danny Hutton mentioned a job with Three Dog Night signing a Record Deal been friends since 2012 , a fan of the group since listening to Live at the Form a live album the best live record a compilation of an ears the Viet Bam war , Elies Conning as the concert progress you get a feeling of contentment memories people places you long ago forgot about now rembering the High School trend a old girlfriend or a Teacher who left you with some idea of becoming a Star Milton Pullen two Presidents awards one for Performing the or he Musical Knowledge a third for Wrighting music I have the job to change musical notation in Dictionarys ,World Book Encyclepdea,both in the United States in Europe if I find a something that’s needing a touch up job , Three Dog Night has sold 500 million records world wide liking the group I will miss Corry Wells and try to follow his musical life as a junior music an in his footsteps , my Diplomas were Sighned by Jim may Carter Radcliff and Ronald Regan Stanford , I’m played the Java Owl Nasa Bay Texas all summer and was a big hit there , the owner,s been invaluable to me helping me with my career out in the public open mike , been in touch with world famous concert promoters Memo record shop a go between in the Music Business President Bill Clinton ,Jim may Carter, George Bush ,have been customers Arnold Swartsaniger the movie star Carlos Santana , and I recently purchased a guitar there , Chuck Joseph Ramirez Jr Dr Ramirez, Joy to the World I remember listening to at Saint Stansulos in Bay Saint Louis Mississippi’s private boarding school in the recreational lounge at night after school on the weekend my math teacher Brother Timothey was musically presented was cool guy and Brother Raymond Galigar our Dormitory Prefect ran the building in a musically or wanted man a guiding light setting an example for me to make something big of myself working hard to reach my goals through religion now Methodist since 2011 was Catholic, played guitar at Saint Paul’s for 2 years in NASA Bay Texas Father Dominic ran the church a cool guy , we use to smoke a cigarette me with not much money always bumming smokes , so get on with my music practicing today and coffee tomorrow thanks for the chance to express myself my wrighting is considered to be priceless musical notation or my written words a government document on paper contract law ,leaving you with a poetic vece, when we were together our hearts touched wishing you were here today might bring back my memory of times like these when hearts beat as one the Coventry of the long road home to peace of mind and a ricin roll band traveling in time getting it together one more time ,thanks see you soon in the Roman empire going down to my rock in roll soul up at night playing music to the masses in the hart beating drums rolling guitars over losing amps are smoking red hot lovers making music down in the groove pear shaped boxes filled with song lifting up my spirit down the path cowboys ride past finals green trees laying in she feed woods near streaming rivers of gifts to make our garden grow the money the girls Dallas Pero Jr selling out his dad tumbling over fog the Howard Hughes of the music world our best remember him as the foundations of the beat Nick music sene Paris France a summer romance at a glance the Helicopters on TV Look magizine photo journalism on TV machine gun rock music , Palestine war between what is and should never be so in saying over the hills I travel to heaven tomorrow. Chuck Ramirez 2022 or bust
Three Dog night should be in the RRHOF they deserve it
Absolutely….met them in 1999 concert, they signed stuff and I kept 2 of Allsup’s guitar picks with the signed photo. Great band and one of my life long favorites
Never ever! Never wrote their own hit songs. And to add the we’re not the best humans either. TDN was a drug riddled addicted band who were always surrounded be shady characters who wanted their totally dependent on drugs and alcohol to fuel the bands cash machine. Bad boys of the music industry!
Why does someone always have to be the nay-say destroyer of everything. I am sorry you think that all of them were such not-fits, but can you not just let their accomplishment in rock music just stand as a ribbon of their talent. I loved this band and saw the many times and I choose to remember them as the band that new on a cold night you needed 3 dogs to keep you warm! God Bless Three dog Night!!!!!Thank You for enhancing my life with your music!