Cory Wells, one of the founding members of the 70’s rock band Three Dog Night, died suddenly on October 20 at his home in Dunkirk, New York, at the age of 74. There is currently no reported cause of death.
Wells’ death was reported Wednesday on the band’s website, threedognight.com. Several concerts had to be cancelled recently, because Wells had developed severe back pain, according to band members. It had been over a month since Wells had performed with the band.
Three Dog Night was one of the top bands in the 70’s, scoring 13 top ten hits and 12 gold albums. The band also had three number one hits, “Joy to the World,” “Black and White,” and “Mama Told Me (Not to Come)”. “Joy to the World” was voted the top song for 1971.
The band was unique because it had three lead singers – Wells, Danny Hutton, and Chuck Negron. The current lineup of the band included Wells and Hutton. There was a falling out with Negron in 1977 and he toured on his own.
Hutton spoke about Wells’ death on the band’s website, saying he was shocked at the sudden death of Wells. He said Wells was like a brother to him.
Wells had served in the Air Force in the early 60’s and had formed several bands before forming Three Dog Night after he moved to Los Angeles and met Hutton.
Many rock critics panned the music of Three Dog Night, citing it as just fluffy pop music, but as Wells had said in previous interviews, their music was popular with a large number of people and led to large record sales. Wells had said the band was not a singles band, but instead, an albums band.
Wells, whose real name was Emil Lewandowski, is survived by his wife, two daughters, and five grandchildren.