First recorded by Jesse Winchester (1974).
Hit versions by The Amazing Rhythm Aces (US #14/C&W #1/CAN #1 1975), Sammy Kershaw (US #105/C&W #2 1994).
From the wiki: “American expatriate Jesse Winchester was known principally as a songwriter (‘Yankee Lady’, ‘New Tennessee Waltz’). His draft resister status meant he was unable to tour in the US from 1967-1977, and it was while working in Montreal, Canada, in 1972, Winchester formed his band Jesse Winchester and The Rhythm Aces.
“In 1974, Russell Smith was recruited to join the Rhythm Aces, traveling to Montreal to assist in the recording of Winchester’s Learn to Love It album at Studio Six. Two of the songs on that album were Smith’s, including ‘Third Rate Romance’. Later, Smith and two of Winchester’s sidemen, Jeff Davis and David McDade, would branch out to form The Amazing Rhythm Aces.
“The Amazing Rhythm Aces recorded ‘Third Rate Romance’ for its 1975 album Stacked Deck, releasing the song as the group’s debut single. In 1994, Country music artist Sammy Kershaw also covered the song for his album Feelin’ Good Train.”
The Amazing Rhythm Aces, “Third Rate Romance” (1975):
Sammy Kershaw, “Third Rate Romance” (1994):