BY MELISSA RUGGIERI/AJC Music Scene
(I’m taking some time off for vacation – my colleague Rodney Ho (firstname.lastname@example.org) is kind enough to fill in with any important music news in my absence.)
The songs of Three Dog Night are inescapable.
Between 1969 and 1975, the Los Angeles band claimed 21 hits on the Billboard Top 40, including the numbers ones “Joy to the World,” “Mama Told Me Not to Come” and “Black and White.” Then there’s “An Old-Fashioned Love Song,” “The Show Must Go On” and, as “Lost” fanatics will recall, “Shambala,” which made three appearances on the island-mystery show.
And don’t forget the band’s other dozen-plus hits.
Three Dog Night, led by original singer Danny Hutton, will play Chastain Park Amphitheatre on Saturday as the headliners of the fourth annual Rock Chastain concert, a benefit for the Chastain Park Conservancy. Atlanta’s The Whiskey Gentry will join them.
Hutton will be joined by fellow original member Michael Allsup (guitar), as well as Paul Kingery (bass), Pat Bautz (drums), David Morgan (vocals) and Howard Laravea (keyboards).
The gregarious singer recently chatted with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Kaedy Kiely of The River (97.1-FM) about the concert and the longevity of Three Dog Night.
To hear Hutton talk about Brian Wilson, the house he bought from Alice Cooper and more, check out the audio from the interview here.
Here are some excerpts.
On the history and longevity of Three Dog Night:
“We’ve had a great run…when you’re in the flow, it’s just amazing. The idea that a lot of the songs have lasted is amazing. We hold the Billboard record for the most consecutive Top 40 hits in a row by anybody – it’s a crazy thing. Every single we released was a Top 40 hit. We were on easy listening charts, the pop charts, the rock charts, the country charts. We went to London and recorded with the London Orchestra so we were on the classical charts. Everything but jazz.”
About playing Chastain for the benefit concert:
“If someone is coming and they don’t like a certain type of music, the next song will be different. I think it was 2003 the last time we played Chastain with the Atlanta Symphony. I was really blown away. I didn’t know what to expect and everybody was sitting at tables with wine and I thought, this is where I would come. The idea of playing at Chastain is just wonderful. If I lived there, I would go to the park, I’m telling you. We can’t wait; it’s going to be a lot of fun.”
On the timelessness of much of the Three Dog Night catalog:
“I think it’s diverse. When we started out, we weren’t rookies. Everybody in our band – I was 26 or 27, I had been the head of A&R at a record company, been on five labels – every member was a leader of their own band. We could all sing lead. On all of our records, we didn’t have the Wrecking Crew playing – it was our band. We did all the arrangements, the songs were all melodic. I like hooks in songs, that magic moment when you hear a record and it just does this thing that you go, oh, that’s cool. We try to put that in every one of our songs. They’re well-played and well-sung and they have harmonies in them. Nothing against jam bands with 15 minute solos, but that doesn’t speak to me. I like to cut the fat out of a song. I like every moment of the song to be doing something interesting.”
On maintaining his stamina:
“I turned 75 (in September). I’m really smart because I’ve done about every stupid thing you can do – but luckily I’ve only done it once. I exercise every day, I eat Paleo. I’ve been doing that about two years. It’s really tough giving up pasta.”
With Three Dog Night and The Whiskey Gentry. 8 p.m. Oct. 21. $30-$100. Chastain Park Amphitheatre, 4469 Stella Drive NW, Atlanta. 1-800-745-3000, www.ticketmaster.com.