Three Times a Lady

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"Three Times a Lady"
Single by Commodores
from the album Natural High
B-side "Look What You've Done to Me"
Released 1978
Genre Pop
Length 3:36 (7" )
6:36 (12" )
Label Motown
Writer(s) Lionel Richie
Producer(s) James Anthony Carmichael

"Three Times a Lady" is a 1978 single by the funk/soul band the Commodores, from their 1978 album Natural High. It was produced by James Anthony Carmichael and the Commodores and it was the most popular track of the album.

In an appearance on The Early Show on June 12, 2009, Lionel Richie said he was inspired to write the song because of a comment his father made about his mother. His father said to his mother "I love you. I want you. I need you. Forever" hence the three times a lady.[1] It was also the only Motown song to reach the Top 10 on the US Billboard Hot 100, that year and the Commodores's first Billboard Hot 100 number-one hit, topping the chart for two weeks on August 12, 1978 and also went to number one the soul chart for two weeks.[2] The song spent three weeks at #1 on the adult contemporary chart.[3] It reached #1 on the Canadian RPM Singles Chart for four weeks, and was one of only a few Motown singles to reach the top spot in the UK Singles Chart, staying there for five weeks.[4] The song was also very successful in Ireland, staying at #1 in the charts for three consecutive weeks. It was #1 in Australia for five weeks, and reached #2 in New Zealand. In the years since the Commodores had started in 1974 it has been one of their most emotional songs since "You Don't Know That I Know" from the album Caught in the Act in 1975.

The original Commodores' version of the song was included as the final track on Lionel Richie's greatest hits compilation album Back To Front, released in 1992.

Covers and parodies[edit]

"Three Times a Lady"
Single by Conway Twitty
from the album Lost in the Feeling
Released November 1983
Format 7"
Recorded February 1–2, 1983
Sound Stage Studio, Nashville, Tennessee
Genre Country
Length 3:42
Label Warner Bros.
Producer(s) Jimmy Bowen, Conway Twitty
Conway Twitty singles chronology
"We Had It All"
(1983)
"Three Times a Lady"
(1984)
"Somebody's Needin' Somebody"
(1984)
  • Nate Harvell recorded one of the first country versions in 1978, reaching #23 on the Billboard country chart.
  • The Shadows did an instrumental of the song on Moonlight Shadows (1986).
  • Kenny Rogers covered the song on After Dark. It was also featured on his hits compilation All The Hits And All New Love Songs. Kenny performed the song on the Barbara Mandrell and the Mandrell Sisters television show on November 29, 1980.
  • The most successful cover version was performed by Conway Twitty, whose version appears on his 1983 album Lost in the Feeling Twitty's version reached No. 7 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart in the late winter of 1984. Allmusic reviewer Tom Jurek wrote that "Three Times a Lady" and the previous single, "Heartache Tonight" "offer(ed) a solid view of Twitty's amazing crossover potential, and his ability to take well-known pop tracks and turn them into solid country smashes long after the countrypolitan days of Chet Atkins and RCA."[5] (In addition to "Heartache Tonight" (a cover of a song by The Eagles), Twitty had successfully covered "Slow Hand" and "The Rose," previously pop hits for the Pointer Sisters and Bette Midler, respectively.)
  • Comedian Bill Bailey performed a German translation of the song in his Part Troll set. According to Radio 1 DJ Scott Mills, the song is about Richie professing his love for fat women.[6]
  • In an episode of Seinfeld, Newman sings part of this song, while his mail truck catches fire.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Interview: Lionel Richie". Channel24. Retrieved 2014-03-28. 
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 130. 
  3. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961-2001. Record Research. p. 62. 
  4. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. pp. 356–7. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  5. ^ Thom Jurek. "Lost in the Feeling - Conway Twitty | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-03-28. 
  6. ^ [1][dead link]

External links[edit]


Preceded by
"Miss You" by The Rolling Stones
Billboard Hot 100 number one single
August 12, 1978 - August 19, 1978 (2 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Grease" by Frankie Valli
Preceded by
"Boogie Oogie Oogie" by A Taste of Honey
Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs number one single
August 12, 1978 – August 19, 1978 (2 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Get Off" by Foxy
Preceded by
"My Angel Baby" by Toby Beau
Billboard Easy Listening Singles number-one single
August 19, 1978 - September 2, 1978 (3 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Fool (If You Think It's Over)" by Chris Rea
Preceded by
"You're The One That I Want" by John Travolta & Olivia Newton-John
UK Singles Chart number one single
August 19, 1978 - September 16, 1978 (5 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Dreadlock Holiday" by 10cc