Three Dog Night: "Shambala" Singer Cory Wells Dies Suddenly at 74

Kimberly RipleyLife

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Three Dog Night singer Cory Wells died suddenly on Tuesday at his home 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.”

Wells sang with Three Dog Night since the band's inception and continued performing with them until September of this year when he developed a problem with severe back pain.

Cory's death marks the second devastating loss to Three Dog Night this year. Back in March, Three Dog Night keyboardist Jimmy Greespoon died of metastatic melanoma at the age of 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 to the U.S. He moved to Los Angeles in the mid-1960s, and that's where he met Danny Hutton while performing in the house band for the popular club the Whiskey A-Go-Go.

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

Wells recorded and toured with Three Dog Night up until a couple of weeks ago. Now that Three Dog Night has lost two band members, their future must be a bit uncertain.

Though he devoted most of his life to music and to Three Dog Night, Wells was a family man and an avid fisherman. He appeared on national TV, filming several episodes on The American Sportsman in New Zealand and the Amazon. He also participated in charity fishing tournaments around the U.S.

Wells is survived by Mary Wells, his wife of 50 years, 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.