Jan 1, 1972: Three Dog Night Play Roses Parade

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Three Dog Night Roses ParadeThe band Three Dog Night was an anomalous act in its time. It was fronted by three singers who traded songs yet harmonized deliciously on choruses: Danny Hutton, Cory Wells, and Chuck Negron. A pop band that enjoyed three #1 singles and 21 Billboard Top 40 hits between 1969 and 1975, they had keen ears for the hottest and hippest new songwriters like Paul Williams, Laura Nyro, Harry Nilsson, Randy Newman, Hoyt Axton, Leo Sayer and others.

On January 1, 1972 they rode the Florists Transworld Delivery (FTD) Association float in the New Year’s Day Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, CA – the first classic rock band to do so. To salute their hitmaking status, the float featured gold records made of thousands of flowers. Three of their hits – including the band’s #1 smash “Joy To The World” – played on a loop as they traveled the route.

The parade’s Grand Marshal? None other than Lawrence Welk.

Some observers felt it was a slightly cheesy move for a rock band. When drummer Bobby Colomby of the band Blood, Sweat & Tears said he’d never do it, his band’s guitarist Steve Katz begged to differ. “Do you know how many people watch the Rose Bowl Parade every year?’ I couldn’t buy that time; that parade has the biggest audience of the year on television!”

We wish we could find footage of Three Dog Night’s performance. Watch them perform Nyro’s “Eli’s Coming” later that year.

Related: Our feature story of Three Dog Night – Under the Covers

As for the parade, we’ll have to settle for this amateur video of some of the flowery floats.

And as for the game? The 58th annual Rose Bowl was played later that day with Stanford edging Michigan 13-12. This year’s contest, the 105th edition, featuring the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Washington Huskies, takes place today at 2 p.m. local time. The Grand Marshal is none other than Chaka Khan.

Three Dog Night have concert dates scheduled throughout the year. Click here or here for details.

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  1. John
    #1 John 20 October, 2018, 22:20

    Read Chuck Negron’s autobiography for more details on this. Most of the band members were totally loaded during the parade. Danny Hutton was almost unconscious.

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