Third Rate Romance

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"Third Rate Romance"
Third Rate Romance single cover.JPG
Single by Amazing Rhythm Aces
from the album Stacked Deck
B-side "Mystery Train"
Released June 23, 1975
Genre Country rock
Length 3:17
Label ABC
Writer(s) Russell Smith
Producer(s) Barry Burton
Amazing Rhythm Aces singles chronology
"Third Rate Romance"
"Amazing Grace (Used to Be Her Favorite Song)"

"Third Rate Romance" is a song written by Russell Smith, first recorded in Montreal in 1974 by Jesse Winchester and his band the Rhythm Aces, assisted by Smith. It became a hit the following year by the newly re-formed Amazing Rhythm Aces on its 1975 album Stacked Deck. It was the band's debut single, reaching number 11 on the U.S. country singles charts and number 14 on the Billboard Hot 100,[1] as well as number 1 on the Canadian RPM Country Tracks and Top Singles charts.


The third-person lyrics tell the story of a man and woman who meet at a restaurant and depart together for what presumably will prove to be a one-night stand at a motel (the "Family Inn"). At the door of the room, she nervously says more than once, "I've never really done this kind of thing before—have you?" He admits that he has, "but only a time or two."

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1975) Peak
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[2] 11
US Billboard Hot 100[3] 14
Canadian RPM Country Tracks 1
Canadian RPM Top Singles 1
Canadian RPM Adult Contemporary Tracks 2
Preceded by
"Say Forever You'll Be Mine"
by Dolly Parton and Porter Wagoner
Canadian RPM Country Tracks
number-one single

October 25, 1975
Succeeded by
"Secret Love"
by Freddy Fender
Preceded by
"The Ballroom Blitz"
by Sweet
Canadian RPM Top Singles
number-one single

October 13, 1975
Succeeded by
"I'm Sorry"
by John Denver

Sammy Kershaw version[edit]

"Third Rate Romance"
Single by Sammy Kershaw
from the album Feelin' Good Train
B-side "Paradise from Nine to One"
Released October 30, 1994
Genre Country
Length 3:21
Label Mercury Nashville
Writer(s) Russell Smith
Producer(s) Buddy Cannon, Norro Wilson
Sammy Kershaw singles chronology
"National Working Woman's Holiday"
"Third Rate Romance"

Country music artist Sammy Kershaw covered the song on his 1994 album Feelin' Good Train, from which it was released as a single in 1994. It peaked at number 2 in the United States,[4] and number 10 in Canada. Kershaw's version features backing vocals from former Amazing Rhythm Aces member Russell Smith, who also wrote the song.

Music video[edit]

The music video was directed by Michael Merriman. It features a woman tricking an old man into going to a motel with her. She steals his money and watch and then drives off with another man, as the old man tries to chase them down.

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1994) Peak
Canada Country Tracks (RPM)[5] 10
US Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles (Billboard)[6] 5
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[7] 2

Other versions[edit]


External links[edit]