Cory Wells of Three Dog Night Dies Suddenly at 74

Kimberly RipleyLife

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Cory Wells of the band Three Dog Night died suddenly on Tuesday in Dunkirk, New York. He was 74.

“Cory was like a brother in so many ways,” Three Dog Night’s Danny Hutton said in a statement on the band's website. “We had been together since 1965 and I am in shock at this sudden loss."

"Cory Wells had been with Three Dog Night from the beginning and continued performing with the band up until September of this year when he developed a problem with severe back pain," the statement reads.

Sadly, this is the second band member of Three Dog Night to pass away this year. Keyboardist Jimmy Greenspoon died in March of metastatic melanoma. He was 67.

"Cory was an incredible singer--a greater performer, he could sing anything," Danny Hutton said.

Cory Wells was born Emil Lewandowski in Buffalo, New York. He joined the Air Force right out of high school and performed in local bands after returning. He moved to Los Angeles in the mid-1960s. It was while he wasin the house band for the popular club the Whiskey A-Go-Go that Wells met Danny Hutton, who was a writer and producer at the time with Hanna-Barbera Records.

Cory Wells sang lead vocals on Three Dog Night hits including "Shambala," "Never Been to Spain," and "Mama Told Me Not to Come."

Wells and Three Dog Night continued to record and tour, in various capacities, until just a couple of weeks ago.

Now that two of Three Dog Night's members have died, it's uncertain what will become of the band.

Cory Wells is survived by his wife of 50 years, Mary Wells, as well as two daughters and five grandchildren.

Kimberly Ripley
Kimberly Ripley is a freelance writer and published author from Portsmouth, New Hampshire. A wife, mom of five and 'Nana' to Lilly and Aiden, she loves cooking for her big family and watching HGTV in her spare time. Kim is guilty of starting way more home design projects than she can finish. Visit her at Twitter and Facebook.