One of the bands that tends to attract a great deal of attention on my list of bands that have not been inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is Three Dog Night. Despite the fact that they were not particularly known as songwriters, their interpretations of songs did provide them with a great deal of popularity and up to 40 million albums sold during their period of peak popularity between 1968 and 1973 . While those people who appreciate songwriters would not find Three Dog Night to be among their favorite choices (their songs were mostly written by such songwriters as Laura Nyro, recently inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame herself, Randy Newman, Paul Williams, and Harry Nilsson), their interpretations of songs like “Mama Told Me Not To Come” and “Joy To The World” are still popular and enduring to this day. Also, just about every other band with their level of albums sold and popular hits is in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Why not Three Dog Night as well, named reputedly after a freezing cold Australian night.
Three Dog Night’s Contribution
Since none of the three lead singers of Three Dog Night were known as songwriters, the main contribution of the band is in its singles and in its ability to popularize the songs of others. As song interpreters, Three Dog Night were quite excellent, and even though the band has not had any new hits for a while, they still perform at places like Oregon’s Spirit Mountain Casino . The band has an impressive body of work, including fourteen gold albums (one of which went platinum in the 1960’s), as well as three #1 hits (“Black And White,” “Joy To The World” and “Mama Told Me Not To Come”) and eight other top tens, as well as ten other top 40 hits . Such a body of work, which includes other classic songs like “One” and “Just An Old Fashioned Love Song,” is still well-regarded in Classic radio. Considering their standard of performing and the enduring nature of their body of work, Three Dog Night is definitely worthy of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
Why Three Dog Night Is A No-Brainer For The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
While the band is no Chicago , they did have twenty-one top 40 hits, 11 top 10 hits, and 3 #1 hits. That body of work, played by a band that is still touring the nostalgia circuit and still being played on the radio, along with being a band that was successful in popularizing harmony singing (albeit three-part rather than four-part), is worthy of induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Their popularity was focused between 1968 and 1975, but that sort of concentrated popularity has not prevented similar bands like The Mamas & The Papas from induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and Three Dog Night is in that general range of band in terms of their popularity (if not their songwriting). Given that the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame has generally been kind to the songwriters, the odds are pretty good that Three Dog Night will eventually have their day in the Hall of Fame as well.
Why Isn’t Three Dog Night In The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame?
There are probably a couple of reasons why Three Dog Night is not in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and that is a short period of popularity as well as the fact that they did not write their own songs. While they were not the most notable artists of their generation, they were popular enough, and influential enough in their use of harmonies and in their popularization of the songs of others, that they deserve induction.
Verdict: Put them in, as they are one of the late 1960’s acts that deserves induction that is still not in, and there are not very many bands at this date that can say that.