Skip to comments.TGIF Rock-n-Roll Oldies: Billy Swan- I Can Help 1974
Posted on 10/01/2010 3:29:20 PM PDT by Reaganite Republican
This song went #1... and Swan recorded it in two takes -without overdubs- with an RMI organ that Kris Kristofferson and singer Rita Coolidge had bought for him as a wedding gift.
Billy Swan (dob 12 May 1942) is a multi-talented American musician, songwriter and singer, best known for the 1974 #1 single I Can Help.
Born in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, Swan learned drums, piano and guitar at a very young age, then immediately took to writing songs.
The first big break came in 1962 when Clyde McPhatter recorded Lover Please, a song written by Swan. McPhatter's version quickly became a #7 pop hit. Swan moved to Memphis and for a time worked on Elvis Presley's Graceland estate.
He then moved to Nashville, which enabled him to write hit country songs for numerous artists, including Conway Twitty, Waylon Jennings, and Mel Tillis. In 1969, Swan first took on the role of record producer, producing Tony Joe White's Top Ten hit Polk Salad Annie.
Billy Swan also played bass guitar for Kris Kristofferson, and then signed a solo recording deal with Monument Records. His first album included the song I Can Help, a rockabilly number that topped both the Billboard Hot 100 and country charts in 1974, going-on to become a major international hit.
Swan recorded it in two takes -without overdubs- with an RMI organ that Kristofferson and singer Rita Coolidge had bought for him as a wedding gift.
Here Billy and the band perform their then #1 hit on The Midnight Special... I've adored this tune since the day it hit the radio, and a great live version here, a little more honky-tonk... they didn't lip-synch on these, a feature unique to that show:
Billy Swan: I Can Help 1974
More at Reaganite Republican
That song didn’t just hit #1 for the week, either it was #1 ranked song by Billboard for the whole year.
What a talent- guy knew how to write a song
What was I doing the last time I heard Billy Swan sing that on the radio?
The video needs chicks though - so here is a flashback treat for your Friday.
1973 Pan’s People dancing to Gilbert O’Sullivan’s - Get Down
How about this magnificent pop gem?
Or this incredibly beautiful song from Todd:
BIG Todd fan here
Cant believe it took me 35 years to find him perform this song live.
Peter Frampton Do You Feel Like We Do - 1975 FULL VERSION
Thanks! Lots of other great clips at that youtube link—like Glen Campbell, Joan Baez, John Denver...
I love it... I’ll try to trump you with a 20-year-old Peter Frampton in Humble Pie, lol:
Natural Born Boogie- 1969
When I think of 1974 these are the songs that immediately come to mind:
ELO - Can’t Get it Out of My Head
Queen - Killer Queen
Kraftwerk - Autobahn
Steely Dan - Rikki Don’t Lose that Number
Golden Earring - Radar Love
1974 was a heckuva good year for music.
Last Mick Taylor Stones album... It’s only Rock and Roll
And the album which later on became my favorite, although it would take a few years for me to discover it, Genesis - The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway
I’ll play that game
The Youngbloods - Get Together
(when protest music was cool)
The early 1970’s were an incredibly consistent and productive period; in my mind, with some exceptions, the best of rock, R&B, soul, fusion and pop was produced in those years.
It just seemed in those years there was constantly new ground being broken, new songs that sounded nothing like anything before.
I would love to hear the perspective of an accomplished pro like TR, on the role of the Divine in the creation of great music.
Todd Rundgren is very talented, works very hard, and has numerous other high points in his career, but to me this song just shimmers with beauty and stands above them all.
Musicians? God? Maybe I DON'T want to hear what Todd has to say.... LOL
We could deal songs, across numerous genres, back and forth all night.
OK, I can't resist..... one more from perhaps my favorite soul album of all:
That great Philadelphia Sound.
(The hit was the edited single version, I put the link to the full album version)
Thanks. Never knew who, or much about the tune. I used to think longingly of my new wife (now deceased) the few times I got to hear it while serving in the USN in Westpac.
You allowed me a wonderful trip to those times past. Bless you.
That whole Innervisions album was pure greatness.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.