Amazing Rhythm Aces – Third Rate Romance

I like hearing this song once in a while. It’s one of those 1970’s AM Gold Hits.

They recorded Third Rate Romance for its 1975 album Stacked Deck, releasing the song as the group’s debut single. The song peaked at #14 on the Billboard 100 and #1 in Canada in 1975. This is a country/rock humorous song. Sammy Kershaw covered this song in 1994 and is maybe the better-known version for some people but this is the version I remember and like.

Amazing Rhythm Aces Stacked Deck  Vinyl LP Album 1975 image 1

The Amazing Rhythm Aces were 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? The song was written by Russell Smith.

Rusell Smith went on to be a successful songwriter, Billy Earheart joined Hank Williams Jr’s Bama Band and Cameron joined Sawyer Brown, who had their own success with a style close to the Amazing Rhythm Aces.

Russell Smith: “I got the idea for it from watching a couple in a restaurant, but I made up a lot of the story. At first, it was like a goddamn book report, about eight minutes long. But once I’d edited it down, I was pretty happy with it.”

Third Rate Romance

Sitting at a fancy table, in a ritzy restaurant,
He was staring at his coffee cup,
Trying to get his courage up.
The talk was small when they talked at all,
They both knew what they wanted,
There was no need to talk about it,
They were old enough to talk it out, and still keep it loose.

Third rate romance, low rent rendezvous,
Then he said, “You don’t look like my type, but I guess you’ll do.”
Third rate romance, low rent rendezvous,
He said, “I’ll tell you I love you, if you want me to.”
Third rate romance, low rent rendezvous,

They left the bar, got in his car, and they drove away;
They drove to the Family Inn, she didn’t even have to pretend.
She waited in the car and he went to the desk,
Made his request while she waited outside.
When he came back with the key she said,
“Give it to me and I’ll unlock the door.”

She said, “I’ve never done this kind of thing before, have you?”
Third rate romance, low rent rendezvous
He said, “Yes I have, but only a time or two.”
Third rate romance, low rent rendezvous
Third rate romance, low rent rendezvous
Third rate romance, low rent rendezvous.


Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

25 thoughts on “Amazing Rhythm Aces – Third Rate Romance”

  1. Like Randy said, very popular in Canada back then & a likable single. Real good example of a 70s one hit wonder. Too bad it hasn’t lived on more on oldies stations.
    Happy Easter to you ,and the family!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This song takes me back to a road trip our family took from Kansas to Michigan for a wedding. It was before seat belt laws, and my cousin and I rode there and back in the back of an El Camino with a camper shell. 😮 This song had just become a hit, and kept coming on the radio again and again. I had the words memorized long before we got back home.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Living life on the El Camino edge! I recall my girlfriend then (wife now, so she holds no grudges) riding in the back of my brothers Morris 1000 utility, a luxurious ride on a cold steel metal tray, protected from the weather and the Fates by nothing more than a clip-on metal roof. After my bro rolled the ute, spilling my girlfriend, me and the freed roof all over the shingle road I can’t remember much. Concussion. Both survived, her with only bruises, me with a sore head. Lucky I am blessed with a thick skull I guess. The idiot things you do when young and dumb!?

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes I saw that…I dont’ know what happened. It’s one of those songs that could have only hit on pop radio in the 70s…a decade later it would have been a country hit.


  3. Coincidentally, I’ve been listening to some Jesse Colin Young albums that came out around the same time. While I think I generally prefer Young, both share a certain smoothness in their sound. The lyrics of “Third Rate Romance” are kind of hilarious, though they kind of leave things open-ended. I really wanted to know whether they happily lived ever after! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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