Jan 1, 1972: Three Dog Night Play Roses Parade

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Three Dog Night Roses Parade

Three Dog Night on their float in the 1972 Tournament of Roses parade

The 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, Three Dog Night 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!”

Watch TV hosts Bob Barker and June Lockhart present the 83rd annual parade to the television audience. Three Dog Night makes their appearance at the 14:30 mark

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

Watch some amateur video of some of the flowery floats

Watch Three Dog Night perform later that year

And as for the game? The 58th annual Rose Bowl was played later that day with Stanford edging Michigan 13-12. The 2024 contest, the 110th edition, featuring the Alabama Crimson Tide and the #1 ranked Michigan Wolverines, takes place at 2 p.m. PT on Jan. 1, airing on ESPN.

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

Best Classic Bands Staff

5 Comments so far

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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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  2. Bassman
    #2 Bassman 2 January, 2020, 08:00

    I saw 3 dog night at the baltimore civic center, when they first were touring, thinking( 1969,70,71) somewhere around that time, THE ONLY GROUP I’VE EVER SEEN THAT DID 4 ENCORES; HAD FREE TICKETS.

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  3. hatter
    #3 hatter 2 January, 2020, 16:43

    this “band” was as fake as the monkees and i loved them both! after reading negron’s book on being a junkie and lucky to be alive, i feel fortunate to merely pissing my life away on pot + booze! some groups should have some class to quit but i guess that’s easy for a nobody to say.

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  4. Jehu1
    #4 Jehu1 2 January, 2021, 23:55

    Does anyone know who the musicians were in this band?

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  5. LF
    #5 LF 2 January, 2022, 05:13

    JEHU1- the original members of Three Dog Night are Chuck Negron, Corey Wells, Danny Hutton. The musicians were Floyd Sneed, drums, Michael Allsup, lead, Jimmy Greenspoon, organ, piano, and Joe Schermie, bass.

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