Bettye Swann (b. October 24, 1944) is an R&B/Southern soul singer and songwriter with clear, expressive vocals and a flair for country who became famous during the late 1960s. Born Betty Jean Champion in Shreveport, Louisiana, she grew up in Arcadia and moved to Los Angeles in 1963. The following year, she launched her music career, changing her name to Bettye Swann. She landed her first contract with Money Records soon after and, in 1967, released her debut album on that label, "Make Me Yours."
Bettye Swann debuted on both the R&B and Pop/Rock charts in 1965 with the self-penned "Don't Wait Too Long." Her fame took off in 1967 with another self-penned song, "Make Me Yours," which topped the R&B charts and became a Top 40 Pop/Rock hit. This smash was followed on both charts with "Fall In Love With Me" (1967), a cover of Jeannie Seely's "Don't Touch Me" (1969), "Victim Of A Foolish Heart" (1972), and a cover of Merle Haggard's "Today I Started Loving You Again" (1973). Her many hits, which continued on the R&B charts through 1976, also included "The Boy Next Door" (1974, not to be confused with the same-named 1963 hit by The Secrets) and "Storybook Children" (1976, duet with Sam Dees).
After giving her last public performance in 1980, the year her husband and manager, George Barton, passed away, Swann retired from the music business. She later went by her married name, Betty Barton, and became a teacher in the Las Vegas area.
- Bettye Swann discusses her life and career in an interview with Jarret Keene of Las Vegas City Life (March 3, 2005).
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- Make Me Yours 1967
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