Bettye Swann

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Bettye Swann (born Betty Jean Champion, October 24, 1944, Shreveport, Louisiana) is an American soul music singer, best known for her 1967 hit song "Make Me Yours".

Career[edit]

She grew up in Arcadia, Louisiana, one of 14 children, and moved to Los Angeles, California, in 1963. Although some sources state that she was in a vocal group known as The Fawns who recorded for Money Records in 1964, she has refuted this, saying that she sang with a trio in Arcadia by that name.[1]

In 1964 she started a solo singing career, as Bettye Swann, at the prompting of local DJ Al Scott, who became her manager. After a minor hit with the self-penned "Don’t Wait Too Long," her big breakthrough came with "Make Me Yours", which topped the Billboard R&B charts in July 1967, and also made #21 on the Billboard Hot 100.[2] In 1968 she split with Scott, moved to Georgia, won a new contract with Capitol Records and had another hit in 1969 with her cover of the Jeannie Seely hit "Don't Touch Me" (#14 R&B, #38 Hot 100).

In 1972 she transferred to Atlantic Records, and had a couple of minor hits with "Victim of a Foolish Heart" (later revived by Joss Stone), and Merle Haggard’s "Today I Started Loving You Again." She continued to record until the mid-1970s, but with little commercial success. Her last public performance as Bettye Swann was in 2013, live in Cleethorpes.[3]

As Betty Barton, she then worked in the education sector in the Las Vegas, Nevada area, and became a Jehovah's Witness. She is now retired and, according to a 2005 interview, suffers from a degenerative spinal condition. After leaving Money records she lived for a short time in Athens, Georgia.[1]

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

  • 1967: Make Me Yours (Money)
  • 1968: The Soul View Now (Capitol) - R&B #48
  • 1969: Don't You Ever Get Tired of Hurting Me (Capitol)
  • 1990: Sweet Dreams (Capitol)
  • 2001: The Money Recordings (Kent)
  • 2004: Bettye Swann (Astralwerks/Honest Jon's)
  • 2014: The Complete Atlantic Recordings) (Rhino)

Singles[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Las Vegas City Life
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1992). Billboard Book of USA Top 40 Hits (5th ed.). Enfield, Middlesex: Billboard Publications Inc. p. 449. ISBN 0-85112-528-X. 
  3. ^ "Bettye Swann - a soul legend returns", The Vinyl Word, June 9, 2013.

External links[edit]