1973 Three Dog Night – Pieces Of April
Dave Loggins was the second cousin of singer-songwriter Kenny Loggins. He released his first album, Personal Belongings, in February 1972. The album was a collection of soft rock/folk-rock songs that he wrote and played acoustic guitar on. A number of studio musicians aided in the recording. The first single from the album was Claudia, but little happened when it was released.
One of the songs on the album was noticed by somebody since Three Dog Night recorded Pieces Of April on their album Seven Separate Fools, which was released shortly after that. The first single from their album was Black & White, which reached the top of the Hot 100 late that Summer. The album was released with something special inside: seven oversized playing cards, each of which featured a photo of one of the members of the group.
Thanks no doubt due to the name of the band, people think of Three Dog Night as only have three members. The band was indeed formed by the three vocalists, Danny Hutton, Cory Wells, and Chuck Negron in 1967. They hired additional musicians to back them up and initially worked with Brian Wilson and recorded as Redwood. When that didn’t work out they dropped their backup band and started over with four new musicians. After one more change, they settled into a lineup that lasted through their hit records: Michael Allsup on guitar, Jimmy Greenspoon on keyboards, Joe Schermie on bass, and Floyd Sneed on drums. Danny’s girlfriend suggested changing the group’s name to Three Dog Night after she read an article about indigenous Australians who slept with one, two, or three dogs when the weather got cold, colder, or really really cold.
Late in the year, the band released their second single from the album, Pieces Of April, a ballad that Chuck sang lead on. The single peaked at #19 in early 1973. Dave’s original version of the song was also released in 1973 as the B-side of Think’n Of Your, but neither side charted.
After Three Dog Night’s success with Dave’s song, he was able to record a second album and the single Please Come To Boston was released in 1973 and reached #5 on the Hot 100 and #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart.
After years of not charting, in 1979 Dave recorded a completely different arrangement of Pieces Of April. The new single reached #22 on the Adult Contemporary chart and was the last time Dave had any measurable success.
Three Dog Night’s career continued strong for a few more years before the hits ran out and the lineup started to evolve. Al Ciner from Rufus and the American Breed joined the group and several other members were replaced over time. Danny began having health and drug problems and was fired from the group and replaced by Jay Gruska in 1975. The group continues to tour and released a single as recently as 2017.
My latest book has articles with music history and trivia for more oldies that the radio doesn’t seem to play and includes links to over 150 videos as well: