Bettye Swann’s Soul Retrospective Deserves the Hype

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.


Bettye Swann
The Complete Atlantic Recordings
Real Gone Music

Bettye Swann scored just two minor pop hits during her prime—1967’s “Make Me Yours” and 1969’s “Don’t Touch Me”—but this magnificent singer has inspired cult devotion for good reason. Blessed with a striking, husky voice tinged by elegant melancholy, the Louisiana-born Swann epitomized deep soul, planting herself at the intersection of R&B and country, where unadorned emotion took precedence over flashy display. The Complete Atlantic Recordings picks up her story in 1972, compiling the 23 tracks she cut for the label through 1976, after which she disappeared from the music scene.

Swann is at her compelling best on slow-burning gems like “I’d Rather Go Blind” and the Nashville standard “Today I Started Loving You Again,” but produces the same intimate intensity in songs that rely on dance beats (“I Feel the Feeling”). While some long-lost artists merit just a passing glance today, Bettye Swann deserves the hype.

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate