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May 12

Why today? It’s the 68th birthday of Missouri-born Billy Swan, so let’s hear his career song.

About the record: Monument ZS8-8621, recorded in April 1974 at Young’un Sound in Murfreesboro, Tenn. Released in July that year, topping ‘s country and pop charts. The longer version heard here appeared on the LP I Can Help, Monument KZ-33279, released in late ’74. It eventually reached No. 1 on Billboard‘s country album chart and No. 21 on the pop album chart.

The story of the writing and recording of “I Can Help” is told in this “Classic Tracks” installment on the Web site of Sound On Sound magazine. It truly is a classic track. Swan, who wrote the song, plays the organ, and the distinctive guitar work was overdubbed by the producer, Chip Young. He replicated the part when Elvis covered the song in 1975.

It would sure do you good to hear this good song one more time.

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