Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Negron ready to rock the Wildwoods at Sensational Spring Concert this Saturday

Mention of the name "Wildwood" brings a nostalgic, reflective tone to Chuck Negron's well-traveled voice.

"Wow, Wildwood. We all grew up with Wildwood," the 70-year-old Bronx native, best known as one of the original frontmen of the iconic band Three Dog Night, told Wildwood 365.

"As a kid, my family vacationed in Point Pleasant. But, Wildwood was where it was at. I have great memories of my teenage years, going down there with my friends. It was freedom. It was the place to be."

Negron, who has also enjoyed a successful solo career, will return to his childhood playground this Saturday to headline the Sensational Spring Concert at the Wildwoods Convention Center, along with Tommy James & The Shondells and The Happenings.

"It's going to be great, being back there. I remember the club scene in the 50's and 60's. The whole town was jumping, and it seemed like every venue was packed. There was so much energy and good feeling.

"Who can forget Bobby Rydell and those 'Wildwood Days?' To go back there and perform, hopefully in front of some of the same faces I partied with back then... it's going to really special and a lot of fun."

A musical prodigy, Negron had recorded his first single and performed at the world famous Apollo Theater with his vocal group "The Rondells" by the time he was 15.

Yet, it was his basketball talents that took him to the West Coast. There, he played at Allan Hancock College and California State University. He eventually chose music over hoops, and signed a recording contract with Columbia in 1965.

Soon, fate would intervene, as he met fellow vocalists Danny Hutton and Cory Wells. The trio made recordings with Brian Wilson in 1967 under the name of Redwood, then formed Three Dog Night the following year.

One of the most successful bands of the late 60's and early 70's, Three Dog Night racked up 21 Billbord Top 40 hits (including three that hit number one) between 1969 and 1975.

The band earned major mainstream success with their original versions of lesser-known songwriters' works, such as Harry Nilsson's "One" (US #5), Laura Nyro's "Eli's Coming" (US #10), Randy Newman's "Mama Told Me Not to Come" (US #1), Paul Williams' "Out in the Country" (US #15) and "An Old Fashioned Love Song" (US #4), and Hoyt Axton's "Joy to the World" (US #1) and "Never Been To Spain" (US #5).

Negron promises to perform "all of the classic Three Dog Night hits" on Saturday night.

"I may toss in two or three of my original solo works, but I'll be playing the songs that everyone loves and remembers from the Three Dog Night era. Those years, they afforded me so much opportunity and I am so thankful for all of it."

By his own admission, the rock 'n roll lifestyle took its toll on Negron. Three Dog Night disbanded in 1976, and it wasn't until the early 90's that Negron was able to overcome the grips of addiction.

He went on to embark on a solo career, recording three albums: Am I Still In Your Heart (1995), Joy to the World (Christmas CD - 1996), and Long Road Back (1999). In 2005, he released a double CD set titled Chuck Negron - Live in Concert. Negron also released an autobiography in 1999, Three Dog Nightmare, in which he details his battles with heroine addiction.

Negron has remained clean and sober for over two decades, and continues to do what he loves.

"Standing on stage, performing all of the songs that have become such a part of me," he said, "it makes me realize just how fortuante I am.

"I talk to the audience, probably a little more than I should," he continued with a laugh. "But I want to give back in some way, to share my experiences, and pay tribute to the people who helped give me the opportunities I've had.

"[My fans] are such a big part of me, and we share such a fondness and a connection. Coming back to Wildwood after all of these years, it's sure going to be special. I hope to see everyone there!"

No comments:

Post a Comment