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Three Dog Night’s Cory Wells Dies at 74

ABC Photo Archives, Getty Images
ABC Photo Archives, Getty Images

Cory Wells, one of the trio of singers in Three Dog Night, has died. He was 74.

According to ABC Action News, Wells died unexpectedly yesterday in his home in Dunkirk, N.Y. The band had postponed several shows last month, claiming that Wells needed treatment for a nerve problem in his back that was causing him problems.

Three Dog Night paid tribute to Wells on their Facebook page, with an official statement by Wells’ longtime bandmate Danny Hutton, who wrote, “It is with deep sadness and disbelief that I must report the passing of Cory Wells, my beloved band mate for over 45 years. Cory was an incredible singer – a great performer, he could sing anything.”

Three Dog Night Mourns the Loss of Cory Wells“It is with deep sadness and disbelief that I must report the passing of…

Posted by Three Dog Night on Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Wells had been with Three Dog Night since their formation in 1967 in Los Angeles. By 1970, they scored the first of their three No. 1 singles, a cover of Randy Newman‘s “Mama Told Me Not to Come.” A year later they reached the top again with “Joy to the World,” which stayed there for six weeks. In 1972, they made it to No. 1 for the last time with “Black & White.”

Three Dog Night placed nearly two dozen songs in Billboard‘s Top 100 between 1969 and 1975, the year before they disbanded. The group — which also included singer Chuck Negron rounded out the frontmen — reunited in 1981 and has been a regular on the touring scene ever since (but without Negron, who had a falling out with his former bandmates).

Wells was born in Buffalo and played in local bands throughout his teens. He joined the Air Force in the mid-’60s, and after he came home, he relocated to Los Angeles, where he and Hutton formed Three Dog Night. After the group broke up in the mid-’70s, Wells released a solo LP, Touch Me, in 1978.

ABC Action News reports that it us unknown whether Wells’ recent back problems had something to do with his death. He’s survived by his wife of 50 years and two daughters.

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This Day in Rock History: October 21

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