Three Times A Lady – The Commodores

THIS DAY IN MUSIC……………………………..on August 5th of 1978 The Commodores reach the Top 10 on Billboard and in a weeks time would have their first US number one single with “Three Times A Lady”. Lionel Richie would later explain that he wrote the song after hearing his father give a touching speech at his 37th anniversary party. The record was also a UK #1. This was a breakthrough song for the Commodores and for Lionel Richie as a songwriter. It crossed over to pop, easy listening and even country formats, setting the stage for further Commodores hits and Richie’s massive solo success. The Commodores were more of a funk band before their massive success with sentimental love songs like this one. They had more hits in a similar style with “Still” and “Sail On,” and Richie followed the formula all the way to the bank with solo hits like “Truly,” “Hello,” “Stuck On You” and “Penny Lover.” In the UK, this was #1 for five weeks. It was the biggest UK hit for Motown Records. The Commodores had six members at the time, and they all wrote separately and competed to get songs on their albums. The band knew this track was a hit when Lionel Richie brought it in, and they made it the centerpiece of the album. This was the first #1 hit Lionel Richie wrote, but far from his last: he wrote songs that were #1 US hits in each of the next seven years, giving him the record for most consecutive #1s by a songwriter who was never a Beatle (Paul McCartney wrote songs that went to #1 1964-1971).