An Old Fashioned Love Song

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"An Old Fashioned Love Song"
Single by Three Dog Night
from the album Harmony
ReleasedNovember 1971
GenrePop rock
Songwriter(s)Paul Williams
Producer(s)Richard Podolor
Three Dog Night singles chronology
"An Old Fashioned Love Song"
"Never Been to Spain"

"An Old Fashioned Love Song" is a 1971 song written by Paul Williams and performed by the American pop-rock band Three Dog Night. Chuck Negron performed the lead vocal on this track. Taken as the first single from their 1971 album, Harmony, the song peaked at number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in December 1971, becoming the band's seventh top-ten hit.[1] It was Three Dog Night's first record to top the U.S. easy listening chart.[2] It reached number 2 in Canada. Its lyrics suggest the straightforward and melodic nature of the tune: Just an old fashioned love song / Comin' down in three part harmony / Just an old fashioned love song / One I'm sure they wrote for you and me.

According to the Karen Carpenter biography Little Girl Blue by Randy L. Schmidt, Williams originally intended the song for The Carpenters, who were in the middle of a string of hits with their own brand of "old fashioned love songs", including two of Williams' own compositions, "We've Only Just Begun" and "Rainy Days and Mondays". Although this was the first song Williams had written specifically for the Carpenters, Richard Carpenter rejected it, and so Williams offered the song to Three Dog Night. The Carpenters never recorded the song, but did perform it live on television with Carol Burnett a few months later.[3]

Chart performance[edit]


Region Certification Certified units/sales
United States (RIAA)[10] Gold 1,000,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

Paul Williams version[edit]

"An Old Fashioned Love Song"
Single by Paul Williams
from the album Just an Old Fashioned Love Song
Songwriter(s)Paul Williams

The song's composer Paul Williams recorded his own version of the song he had written, which was included on his 1971 album Just an Old Fashioned Love Song. Williams later performed the song when he appeared on The Muppet Show in 1976. He also sang a portion of the song for an episode of The Odd Couple in 1974.

Other versions[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1996). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits, 6th Edition (Billboard Publications)
  2. ^ a b Hyatt, Wesley (1999). The Billboard Book of #1 Adult Contemporary Hits (Billboard Publications)
  3. ^ Schmidt, Randy L. Little Girl Blue: The Life of Karen Carpenter. Chicago Review Press, Inc., 2010, p. 76.
  4. ^ a b "Australian Chart Book". Archived from the original on March 5, 2016. Retrieved October 4, 2016.
  5. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". 1972-01-22. Retrieved 2019-07-01.
  6. ^ "flavour of new zealand - search listener". Archived from the original on August 6, 2016. Retrieved October 4, 2016.
  7. ^ "Three Dog Night Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  8. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved October 4, 2016.
  9. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1999). Pop Annual. Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. ISBN 0-89820-142-X.
  10. ^ "American single certifications – Three Dog Night – An Old Fashioned Love Song". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved February 14, 2019.

External links[edit]