On this day in music history: July 11, 1970 – …

On this day in music history: July 11, 1970 – “Mama Told Me (Not To Come)” by Three Dog Night hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 2 weeks. Written by Randy Newman, it is the first chart topping single for the pop/rock band from Los Angeles, CA. Formed in Los Angeles in 1967, Three Dog Night is formed by vocalists Chuck Negron, Cory Wells and Danny Hutton. All had previously recorded as solo artists with little success before putting the band together with fellow musicians Mike Allsup (guitar), Jimmy Greenspoon (keyboards), Floyd Sneed (drums), and Joe Schermie (bass). Three Dog Night land a recording contract with Dunhill Records shortly after. Needing material to record, but with none of the band members having much music songwriting experience, they turn to professional writers for material. While a member of the band The Enemies, Cory Wells hears the song “Mama Told Me (Not To Come)”, written by musician Randy Newman, who at the time is virtually an unknown but up and coming songwriter. Wells hear the song through a version recorded by former Animals lead singer Eric Burdon. “Mama” becomes a regular part of The Enemies repertoire, and after Three Dog Night get together, Wells suggests to the other band members and producer Richie Podolor that they record it. Issued as a single in May of 1970, it quickly becomes a big hit. Entering the Hot 100 at #83 on May 23, 1970, it climbs to the top of the chart seven weeks. The success of “Mama” helps to firmly establishes Randy Newman as a top songwriter, launching his own career as a recording artist. “Mama Told Me” is later covered by several other artists including Wilson Pickett, Lou Rawls, Yo Lo Tengo, and The Wolfgang Press. Tom Jones along with fellow Welshmen Stereophonics record it in 2000, scoring a top five hit (#4 UK). Three Dog Night’s version in the films “Boogie Nights”, “GI Jane”, “Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas” and “The Sweetest Thing”. “Mama Told Me (Not To Come)” is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.