Australian charts: 1972
According to the Karen Carpenter biography Little Girl Blue by Randy L. Schmidt, songwriter Paul 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.
In a Songfacts interview with Paul Williams, he talked about this song’s inspiration. “I had a date one night with a young lady named Patti Dahlstrom,” he said. “She was a songwriter. We were going to go out and have dinner. And right before I left for the date I had gotten a phone call that I had a gold record. And I walked into her house, and I said, ‘Well, got a gold record for such-and-such, it just went gold. Kid did it again with another old fashioned love song.’ It just came out of me.
I went, ‘Wait a minute.’ I went over to her piano and I sat down, and it’s the quickest I ever had a song come out of me. And it sounds like it. It’s a really simple song, I wrote it in like 20 minutes. And it was a big hit.”
An Old Fashioned Love Song peaked at no 14 on the Go-Set National Top 40 in February 1972.
This song is also on our Spotify playlist.
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