Danny Hutton

Danny Hutton is most famous as one of the three lead singers in Three Dog Night, but he did have a solo career prior to helping found that band in the late '60s. In the mid-'60s, he put out a few singles on the Hanna-Barbera and MGM labels. One of those, "Roses and Rainbows," was a small hit (and a big one in Southern California). But Hutton didn't make a splash as a solo artist, with singles of imaginatively produced, orchestrated L.A. pop-rock in which the arrangements were much more sophisticated than the relatively trivial, lightweight material. Ten sides from this era, including "Roses and Rainbows," were compiled for the now hard-to-find MGM compilation Pre-Dog Night, not issued until after Three Dog Night had hit it big. "Roses and Rainbows" and "Funny How Love Can Be" also show up on the Three Dog Night compilation Celebrate: The Three Dog Night Story, 1965-1975. Incidentally, also in the mid-'60s, Hutton was one of many who failed an audition for the Monkees. Hutton met Cory Wells, whom Hutton produced when Wells was part of MGM act the Enemies. Along with Chuck Negron, who had sung backup on one of Hutton's singles, they formed a three-singer band, Redwood. Redwood did a couple of singles with Hutton's good friend Brian Wilson producing, including versions of "Time to Get Alone" and "Darlin'," which would also be recorded by Wilson's group, the Beach Boys. With the addition of some backing musicians, the trio formed Three Dog Night, which finally gave Hutton and the others national success. After Three Dog Night split up, Hutton managed some punk bands in the late '70s, including Fear, as well as leading Danny Hutton Hitters, who had a song on the Pretty in Pink soundtrack. In the early '80s, he began touring with a reunited Three Dog Night. ~ Richie Unterberger

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