I Can Help – Billy Swan

THIS DAY IN MUSIC…………………………………..on November 30th of 1974 former Kris Kristofferson sideman Billy Swan had the best selling record in America (Cash Box Chart) with “I Can Help”, a song he recorded in just two takes. Released in July 1974, the song was a big crossover smash, reaching No. 1 on both the Billboard Hot 100 and Hot Country Singles charts late that fall. Although Swan had other charting singles on both the Hot 100 and country charts, the song is generally recognized as being Swan’s only major hit single release. Swan secured his own recording deal with Monument Records, after his return to Nashville in August 1973. From the time he secured the deal, Swan began composition of ‘I Can Help’ in a music room that his wife, Marlu, had converted from a closet inside the small duplex that they shared close to his city’s Centennial Park.Kris Kristofferson and Rita Coolidge brought Billy Swan a little RMI organ as a wedding present. Billy was fiddling around with it when the chorus “I can help” appeared and within a few minutes he had written the lyrics. Swan often took his medium-sized dog to his recording sessions. While Swan was recording “I Can Help,” the dog became playful and started tugging at Swan’s pant leg. He finished the take – and earned the applause from the band mates that is heard at the end of the released song. Swan wrote Clyde McPhatter’s 1962 hit “Lover Please.” He went on to write some popular Country songs, but this was his only hit as an artist. The song was also a Top 10 hit in the UK reaching #6.