Billboard #1 Hits: #237: “Mama Told Me [Not To Come}- Three Dog Night. July 11, 1970.
- Single: “Mama Told Me [Not To Come}- Three Dog Night
- Record Company- Dunhill
- Genre: Rock
- Written by Randy Newman
- Time: 2:58
- B-side: “Rock & Roll Widow”
- Album-It Ain’t Easy
- Grade: A-
- Peaked at #1 2 weeks in the Billboard Hot 100. #3 in UK Singles Chart.
Three Dog Night had 3 Top 10 hits in 1969- “Mama Told Me [Not To Come}”-was the first of three #1’s they would have in the early 70’s. Written by an up and coming artist Randy Newman- the song was first covered in 1967 by Eric Burdon & The Animals. Newman on the song-
Newman says that the song was inspired by his own lighthearted reflection on the Los Angeles music scene of the late 1960s. As with most Newman songs, he assumes a character; in this song the narrator is a sheltered and extraordinarily straitlaced young man, who recounts what is presumably his first “wild” party in the big city, is shocked and appalled by marijuana smoking, whiskey drinking, and loud music, and — in the chorus of the song — recalls that his “Mama told [him] not to come”.
To me Three Dog Night- who had 20 straight singles reach the Top 40- are a band who if I hear one of their songs on the radio I don’t turn the channel -but they aren’t a group I have any albums of. I did listen to a best of of theirs that had all 20 hits on it- and was impressed.