Friday, August 27, 2021

Friday Music with Three Dog Night

“One” is the title, appropriately enough, for the first song on the first side of the first album by Three Dog Night. 

Here’s the story on creating the song featuring two of the three lead singers, Chuck Negron and Danny Hutton.

It was a Top 5 hit in the U.S. and Canada, an outcome that songwriter Harry Nilsson surely appreciated.

According to Wikipedia, Nilsson wrote the song after calling someone and getting a busy signal, and then stayed on the line listening to the “beep, beep, beep” of the busy signal while writing the lyrics including the classic opener “One is the loneliest number that you’ll ever do ...”.

It’s a great story, and it might even be true.

Many years later after nearly two dozen Top 40 hits and becoming one of the biggest bands in the world — turns out “Jeremiah was a bullfrog”, did you know that? — their last Top 20 hit in 1974 “Sure As I’m Sitting Here”.

Written by John Hiatt, who would go on to have a long career as both songwriter and performer.

These two songs bookend their hit-making career and both show their good taste in choosing high quality material from excellent songwriters.