Friday, 1 February 2013

Three Dog Night - Black & White

"Black and White" is a song written in 1954 by David I. Arkin and Earl Robinson.

The most successful recording of the song was the pop version by Three Dog Night in 1972, when it reached number one on both the Billboard Hot 100 and Billboard Easy Listening charts. This was one of the few hits for Three Dog Night on which Danny Hutton sang the lead vocals.

The song was inspired by the United States Supreme Court decision of Brown v. Board of Education that outlawed racial segregation of public schools. It was first recorded by Pete Seeger in 1956, followed by Sammy Davis Jr. in 1957. The original lyrics of the song opened with this verse, in reference to the court:

    Their robes were black, Their heads were white,
    The schoolhouse doors were closed so tight,
    Nine judges all set down their names,
    To end the years and years of shame.

Reggae groups The Maytones, from Jamaica, and Greyhound, from the UK, both recorded the song in 1971, the latter achieving a UK top ten hit. Having heard the Greyhound version, which did not include the verse describing the court, Three Dog Night included the song in their 1972 album Seven Separate Fools. This version of the song peaked at number one on the U.S. pop chart on September 16, 1972, and topped the easy listening chart on October 7.

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