”An Old Fashioned Love Song” is a 1971 song written by Paul Williams and performed by the American pop-rock band Three Dog Night. Chuck Negron performed the lead vocal on this track. Taken as the lead single from their 1971 album, Harmony, the song peaked at number four on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in December 1971, becoming the band’s seventh top-ten hit. It was Three Dog Night’s first record to top the U.S. easy listening chart. It reached number two in Canada. Its lyrics suggest the straightforward and melodic nature of the tune: Just an old fashioned love song / Comin’ down in three part harmony / Just an old fashioned love song / One I’m sure they wrote for you and me.
According to the Karen Carpenter biography Little Girl Blue by Randy L. Schmidt, 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. The Carpenters never recorded the song, but did perform it live on television with Carol Burnett a few months later.