November 2012

The Unusual Success of Three Dog Night

On the way back from Kansas City recently, I heard “Joy to the World” playing on the radio. That is, the one that starts with the lyric “Jeremiah was a bullfrog, was a good friend of mine,” not the ever-popular Christmas song, which features no bullfrog by the name of Jeremiah, or otherwise. Three Dog Night made that song the biggest selling single of 1971, charting six weeks at number one, according to Billboard. “Joy to the World” was the most golden success in Three Dog Night’s run of. . . well, golden successes.

Bond 2 - The Maibaum Years

In June 1989, I was a struggling freelance writer living in Marion, Iowa, one year removed from receiving a masters degree in film studies from the University of Iowa. Early one Saturday morning, one of my professors, Charles F. “Rick” Altman, called to tell me that renowned James Bond screenwriter Richard Maibaum was in Iowa City for the weekend.