Joy To The World – Three Dog Night

THIS DAY IN MUSIC……………………………….on March 27th of 1971 Three Dog Night‘s version of Hoyt Axton’s “Joy To The World” enters the Billboard Hot 100 on its way to becoming the biggest selling single of the year. Unlike most Three Dog Night songs recorded at that point, instead of having just the three main vocalists singing harmony, the song was recorded with all seven members of the band singing. Hoyt Axton wrote this for an animated TV special called The Happy Song that never materialized. Axton, who was a popular country singer-songwriter from Oklahoma, pitched it to the group while he opened for them on a tour. Three Dog Night also had a Top 10 hit with “Never Been to Spain,” which was also written by Axton. The group didn’t think much of this song when they recorded it, tacking it on to the album because they needed one more song to complete it. The song ended up being a massive hit and stayed six weeks at #1 on the US Hot 100. Three Dog Night got their band name from an old Australian Aborigine saying they heard. If it was cold at night, you slept with your dogs for warmth. The next day you might tell a friend, “Man, it was a three dog night last night.” This led a lot of people to believe that the group was Australian, but they were based in California. Hoyt Axton’s mother Mae Axton co-wrote the Elvis hit “Heartbreak Hotel.” When “Joy To The World” topped the charts, the Axtons became the only mother-son team to each be credited with writing a #1 record. The song was a minor hit in the UK where it topped off at #24.