Third Rate Romance

Album: Stacked Deck (1975)
Charted: 14


  • The cover version that most people today normally attribute this song to was the 1994 rendition by Sammy Kershaw on his album Feelin' Good Train, but this song was written by Amazing Rhythm Aces singer/guitarist Russell Smith and was originally performed by the Amazing Rhythm Aces in 1975 on their debut album Stacked Deck. There were two crossover hits on this album, "Third Rate Romance" and "Amazing Grace (Used to be her Favorite Song)" which was their only Top 10 Country single.
  • The band was formed in 1974 in Memphis by Jeff Davis and Butch McDade. By 1975 they had added Russell Smith, Barry Burton and James Hooker to the group. Burton left the group in 1977 and was replaced by Duncan Cameron. They disbanded in 1980 after the release of their album How the Hell do you spell Rhythum? Smith went on to be a successful songwriter, Earheart joined Hank Williams Jr's Bama Band, and Cameron joined Sawyer Brown, who had their own success with music in a similar style as the Amazing Rhythm Aces. After a hiatus of about 15 years, the group re-formed in 1994 with most of the original members and began by releasing some newly recorded versions of their biggest hits. They also began composing new songs for a comeback album which was delayed due to McDade's cancer-related death in 1998. The album Chock Full of Country Goodness was finally released in 1999. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Dan - Salem, OR, for above 2
  • This folksy song tells the story of a one-night-stand from first encounter to just before consummation at a cheap motel. It's not a meaningful affair, but simply a third-rate romance - cheap and easy.

Comments: 11

  • Nell from MoI read somewhere that one of Sam Phillips' sons produced this. Sam from Sun Records. True?
  • Bruce Belitz from TennesseRussell wrote this song in the original Ruby Tuesday on Cumberland avenue in Knoxville around the time his father Howard and my mother were dating! The Family Inn was a chain in the south owned and founded by Kenneth Seaton!
  • Randy from Houghton Lake, MiI didn't like Sammy Kershaw's cover when I first heard it but it grew on me. This is still my favorite version.
  • Brent from Denair, CaA perfect song to sum up the 70's lifestyle for many.
    Bill from Pensacola: good call on the PAUSE portion of the song. Perfect timing.
  • Ken from Louisville, KyI wonder if they used the term "Family Inn" so not to get sued by Holiday Inn. No matter, it is a great metaphor. Going to the "Family Inn" for fornication - or perhaps even adultery! Gets the point across. The song is a perfect description of sexual morals of the 1970's. The scenario played out in real life countless times across the country.
  • D Ross from Salmon Arm, BcAlan Jackson does a live swing version on youtube that's pretty good.
  • Dt from Gulf Breeze, FlHad a few of these in my day. Great fun, great memories. Great tune.
  • Carolyn from Knoville, TnWhat a great song! I just stop whatever I'm doing whenever I hear it on the radio and listen to it.
  • Bill from Pensacola, Flthis is one of those (few) songs where all the words mattered AND everyone knew the words!,
    we used to love the pause after "I've never really done this kind of thing before.........PAUSE
    .have you?"
    Then the guitar answers for all of us! great song writing.
  • Matthew from Roseville, CaGood old song...
  • Guy from Woodinville, WaLove this song! It's such a well-crafted portrait of these rather sad, lonely (yet horny) people. The Amazing Rhythm Aces' version is the only one I know, BTW.
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