Day 260: Black & White

Song: “Black &  White” by Three Dog Night
Reached #1: September 16, 1972 (their third, 1 week)
Previously: Day 108

The text is black… the background is white…

As with all of Three Dog Night’s biggest hits, they didn’t write the song. 

“Black & White” was written shortly after the Brown v. Board of Education ruling that was meant to end school segregation.  Knowing that fact makes the lyrics far more understandable.

Pete Seeger and Sammy Davis Jr. did early versions of the song before Three Dog Night recorded it for Seven Separate Fools.

While researching the band, I’ve seen a couple of people opine that Three Dog Night wasn’t a bigger band because they didn’t write their own music – but they did have three US #1 hits and six other top 10 hits, so it’s not like they didn’t have a successful run.

One thing you won’t see, sadly, are remastered versions of Three Dog Night’s hits.  Their record label, ABC Dunhill, tossed the masters and tracks in 1973 to save money.  Any “remastered” tracks you may see were taken from existing album versions… thanks, ABC.  Really.  Brilliant move.

As to the band… Chuck Negron left in a drug-fueled haze in 1985 (he got clean in 1991), but otherwise, most of Three Dog Night are still together and touring.  If you look on YouTube, you can find versions of Black & White bootlegged from as recently as this past summer…

Tomorrow… a rapper’s first #1, and probably the only #1 to “feature” an actor moonlighting as a singer.

Other songs that reached #1 on September 16:
1989 –
“Don’t Wanna Lose You” by Gloria Estefan (her second, 1 week)
2000 – “Music” by Madonna (her twelfth, 4 weeks)


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