On this day in music history: November 23, 197…

On this day in music history: November 23, 1974 – “I Can Help” by Billy Swan hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 1 week, also topping the Country singles chart for 1 week on December 14, 1974. Written and produced by Billy Swan, it is the biggest hit for the Missouri born native. Already a veteran of the music business, the singer, songwriter, and musician writes his first big hit while still a teenager. The song, “Lover Please” is a top 10 single in 1962 for former Drifters lead singer Clyde McPhatter when Swan is only sixteen years old. By the 70’s, Swan is signed to Monument Records as an artist in his own right. Swan composes “I Can Help” on an RMI organ (used on the recording) that is given to him as a wedding gift from musician friends and label mate Kris Kristofferson and wife Rita Coolidge. He comes up with the songs’ hook, all of the lyrics and bridge in only twenty minutes. Entering the Hot 100 at #90 on September 28, 1974, it climbs to the top of the chart eight weeks later. It is also a huge international hit, topping the charts in more than a dozen foreign countries. “Help” is covered numerous times over the years including a version recorded by Elvis Presley in 1975. The song is also later heard in a series of commercials for big box retailer Wal-Mart. “I Can Help” is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.