This Week at PCA: Chuck Negron

Danny Hutton, Corey Wells and Chuck Negron made up Three Dog Night, which became one of the 70′s most successful groups with twenty one Billboard hits.

With twenty one songs on the Billboard charts Three Dog Night ruled the airwaves during the 1970s. One of music’s most unconventional groups Three Dog Night was unique by having three alternating lead singers. Formed in 1968 by Danny Hutton, Chuck Negron, and Danny Welles, Three Dog night was different than their contemporaries in that each of the members took turns singing lead while the others sang back-up. The concept of a band with three individual lead singers is still virtually unheard of today.  By picking songs written by some of the greatest songwriters of the era and putting their own individual mark on them, Three Dog Night became a recording powerhouse and one of the most respected bands of their era.

Despite sharing singing duties with his band mates in Three Dog Night, Chuck Negron became the voice and face of the group when his singles, such as “One” and “Joy to the World,” became Three Dog Nights signature songs.

While sharing vocal duties with his band mates, Chuck Negron stepped forward and slowly became the face  and voice of Three Dog Night. With his long dark hair and trademark mustache Negron’s featured songs often soared to the top of the charts. Leading Three Dog Night to fame in 1968 with their first hit, One (Is the Loneliest Number), Chuck followed up by singing lead on Easy to Be Hard, The Show Must Go On, Old Fashioned Love Song, and Joy to the World. He also sang harmony on each of the band’s other hits including Eli’s Coming, Out in the Country, Shambala, Mama Told Me Not to Come, Black and White, and Let Me Serenade You. Chuck, Danny, and Cory kept the hits coming.  However, due to some shake up in the band’s line up, as well as personality clashes between the three singers, Three Dog Night called it a day in 1976.

But with fame and fortune often comes excess and Chuck Negron found himself drawn to the rock ‘n’ roll drug culture and he watched his world fall apart while hooked on heroin for over a decade. The band reunited during the 1980s, but Chuck was let go from the group as a result of his increased drug use. Fifteen years and over thirty rehabs stays later Chuck kicked the habit for good in 1991. While Cory and Danny continued to tour as Three Dog Night Chuck worked on putting his life back together. He embarked on a solo career and in 1995 he released his first album, Am I Still in Your Heart, followed by a 1996 Christmas album, Joy to the World, and his 2001 live album, Chuck Negron – Live in Concert. In 1999 Chuck documented his battle with drugs in an autobiography titled Three Dog Nightmare and released a pair of DVDs, the multiple award winning Chuck Negron: Biography of an Entertainer, and Chuck Negron: Live in Concert. Meanwhile, Chuck continues to support and lend a hand and voice to Cri-Help, the drug and alcohol treatment center which helped him finally kick his addiction.  After years of inactivity due to his drug habit Chuck Negron embraced sobriety and was back on the pop culture radar with a vengeance.

Today Chuck Negron is as productive as he was during the 1990s. With a new printing of Three Dog Nightmare available now Chuck is joining the line up of year’s Happy Together Tour in which he will be touring North America with contemporaries such as The Turtles, Gary Puckett, Mark Lindsay, and Gary Lewis. His biggest project, though, is his upcoming album, Then and Now, which will include three recently discovered previously unreleased songs by Three Dog Night. However, so that Chuck’s vision for this album can be fulfilled, Chuck is reaching out for support of fans worldwide with a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to complete the album so that Three Dog Night fans can finally hear these missing gems. Despite his busy schedule, Chuck took the time to talk to me during a break from The Happy Together Tour about his past and present projects.

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