Classic rock fans are one of the most prolific and philanthropic groups of concertgoers today, or so singer Chuck Negron is hoping. His publicist, Jeff Albright, announced on July 18, 2013 that
“Chuck Negron, formerly of Three Dog Night and currently on this year’s Happy Together Tour, is hoping to hit the studio soon and put out a brand new album next summer for fans to enjoy tentatively titled,’Then And Now,’ which will feature three never-before-released Three Dog Night bonus tracks.”
When it comes to classic rock music and the musicians who created it, audiences and record buyers who loved the songs often placed rock stars on lofty pedestals. Pressures to create, recreate, and sustain the reason for adulation of the rockers was much like the surge of adrenalin when you know you’re a pied piper. You carry everyone with you on your shoulders and your coattails up the mountain of gold.
But when those performers were tempted, led, and driven to excesses in every way imagineable, and the fans moved on to other music or other musicians, the steep descent down the hill was often surreal, painful, and filled with a vast chasm of nothingness. One day you’re “all that” and the next it is the “who are you, again?” Hence, the title of Negron’s biography, “Three Dog Nightmare,” first released in 1999.
Chuck’s career as part of one of the signature groups of the late 1960s and early 1970s, Three Dog Night, is responsible for some of the most beloved songs that Baby Boomers know all the words to, still today. Three Dog Night actually had three lead singers; the other two, Danny Hutton and Cory Wells, still tour today and present more great musical memories, but it’s Chuck Negron who perhaps had the highest profile of the three.
In “Three Dog Nightmare,” Negron’s 1999 biography was well received at the time, but it’s long been out of print. Scarce copies are found on the Internet, but it’s a poignant read today as it was fourteen years ago. Negron went from sitting on top of the rock world singing songs by Laura Nyro, “Eli’s Coming” to Hoyt Axton’s “Joy to the World,” which some people today still insist is called “Jeremiah Was a Bullfrog” when they call DJ Phlash Phelps to request their favorite Three Dog Night song on Sirius XM 60s on 6 channel. Nevertheless, songs of Three Dog Night are what fans still want to hear.
Thus, Chuck Negron was a natural addition to the always dynamic Happy Together Tour reunion group, now on their fourth super-successful national tour. This year’s lineup is anchored by Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan (Flo and Eddie) as The Turtles, Gary Puckett (sans Union Gap), Mark Lindsay, Negron, and Gary Lewis (sans Playboys). The reception for this tour is a smash sellout virtually wherever they perform. Negron is becoming reacquainted with fans, who are so glad he’s there again.
By the time the curtain first fell on the band, they had at least 21 songs that were considered cool enough to sing along to, and rode high on the Billboard Top 40 charts for years. Albright reminds us that of the group’s major hits, “seven went gold, and there were three number one songs, including Hoyt Axton’s “Joy to the World,” “Black and White” (written by David Arkin and Earl Robinson) and “Mama Told Me (Not to Come) which was written by Randy Newman.”
Three Dog Night songs were also romantic enough to serve as prom themes, “Just an Old Fashioned Love Song,” with Chuck on lead vocals, and “Pieces of April,” just two of the many in the cadre that netted the band 13 gold albums. A solid gold body of work indeed.
Now that Negron is officially back touring for those who love his songs, he’s turning to the crowds, virtually, to see if they would like to share in the next phase of relaunching his career. Chuck’s plan is to raise $75,000, primarily to complete a new record album, including three never-before-released Three Dog Night songs, via Kickstarter. Many contemporary artists are turning to this popular social-media fueled cyberbank where there is no risk to donate. If the project is not fully funded, you as the donor are not charged.
Also planned via the Kickstarter effort is a reprinting of his original biography, to make it available again. The benefit for doing that is to help Negron continue his work, as he spends much time off the road helping people combat substance abuse. His “I’ve been there, done that” story is enough to scare people straight, fast.
If you are a major Chuck Negron fan, now is the time to spread the word. With 28 days to go in the funding effort, 149 backers have already signed on board and pledged $9,017 of the $75,000 target. There are some tremendous incentives (check out the slide show to see what you could receive in return for gifts at various levels). The most important thing is that if you simply donate what you would pay for a concert ticket, or a Three Dog Night CD, you can be part of fueling the best part of Chuck Negron’s life, today. Show the man whose voice made your prom unforgettable that spring night just how much you care. Kick in and kick-start Chuck’s project. You’ll be glad you did.
For more information, check out Chuck’s web site or his official Kickstarter page.