BY: JEFF CLARK
The 60s pop-package “Happy Together Tour” opened a summer run of 50-something shows Friday night at the IP Casino Resort in Biloxi.
The tour was started by “Flo and Eddie” (Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman) of The Turtles in 1984. This year’s incarnation featured The Turtles, The Cowsills, Mark Lindsay of Paul Revere and the Raiders, Gary Puckett and Billy J. Kramer filled in for the absent Spencer Davis Group.
While all of the acts played their hits to an enthusiastic crowd, former Three Dog Night vocalist Chuck Negron stole the show.
How do you top Negron belting out “Joy to the World?” You don’t. You have The Turtles come out and do their thing, and do it quite well, and then you bring Negron back on stage for another chorus of “Joy” and then let him sing the refrain of “Happy Together.”
In full-disclosure, Negron is one of my favorite singers and “Joy to the World” is the first song I remember hearing on the radio as a young child.
Negron went through four Three Dog Night songs -- “Shambala,” “One,” “Mama Told me Not to Come” and “Joy to the World.” His voice was in excellent shape and as powerful as ever. I only wish there had been more as Negron’s portion of the show was over as soon as he started to hit his stride. I’m hoping he will add Biloxi to his next solo tour.
It’s interesting that Negron was on a pop tour, as I’ve always considered Three Dog Night a rock band. If you need proof of their rock credibility, give “Three Dog Night Captured Live at the Forum” a spin. Recorded in 1969, the album is a great testament to the band’s live shows, with Jimmy Greenspoon, Michael Allsup, Joe Schermie and Floyd Sneed killing it as their famous backup band.
It is worth noting that Negron is an author. His autobiography “Three Dog Nightmare” tells his tale of a life-threatening addiction to heroin and how Negron fought through his addiction and put his life back together. He has been sober 25 years.
Negron, who tried in vain to help Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain with his heroin addiction, still works with alcoholics and addicts.
Sweet! Hollywood recently unveiled a new candy bar in Negron’s honor. The Three Dog Nightmare bar retails for $7.99 and the proceeds from its sales with benefit Cr-Help in Los Angeles, the rehab center where Negron found sobriety.