Randy Newman wrote “Mama Told Me (Not to Come)” for Eric Burdon’s 1967 album Eric Is Here. The cover by Three Dog Night was on their 1970 It Ain’t Easy album. They also released it as a single in 1970, and it rose to #1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, #2 in Canada, #3 in the U.K., #12 in Germany, and #14 in The Netherlands. Newman says that the song was his reflection of Los Angeles in the late 1960s. Other versions of the song include those by Tom Jones & Stereophonics, P.J. Proby, Wilson Pickett, Randy Newman himself, Lou Rawls, and The Slackers, just to name few.
Three Dog Night formed in Los Angeles in 1967. Group members were Danny Hutton, Cory Wells, Chuck Negron, Jimmy Greenspoon, Joe Schermie, Mike Allsup, and Floyd Sneed. Over the years, the lineup has changed, of course. They were a hit machine. Between 1969 and 1975, they had 21 U.S. Billboard Top 40 hits and 12 RIAA gold records. Cory Wells does the lead vocal on “Mama Told Me (Not to Come).”