"I Can Help" singer [edited title]

So am I the only idiot who thought for the last 40 years…

…“I Can Help” was by Ringo Starr?

Apparently this Billy Swan guy isn’t even English. I discovered this today listening to a Classic Country cd. “Ringo Starr is Classic Country?”

The Beatles did a lot of covers early on. I remember the original version of that one.


It doesn’t sound a bit like Ringo.

Sure it does.

I always thought it was Elvis.

Well, not for the entirety of the last 40 years. About 10 years ago, I found it out, too.

So our shared ignorance only overlapped for the first 30 years the song existed!:slight_smile:

It sure SOUNDS like Ringo. Maybe it’s a big secret, like Klaatu was really the Beatles.

I can’t listen to that right now. Maybe I’m biased because I was 12 when the song was a number one hit, and always knew it was Billy Swan.

Huh? Billy Swan’s version was the original - he wrote it, and it wasn’t released until 4 years after The Beatles broke up, so they didn’t cover it. Elvis Presley did do a cover, though, in 1975.

It never sounded to me like Ringo, either, but I guess I could kinda sorta see the comparison now that it’s mentioned.

I think it’s a combo of:

The lyrics. Just sounds like something someone would write for Ringo.
The limited range
It just has that kinda…I don’t know if ‘swingsy bluesy’ is the right term, but that stuff Ringo played around with in the 70’s. No, it certainly doesn’t sound like Yellow Submarine. But post Beatles, Ringo would sometimes have this almost American affectation to his singing voice.

Ah, I assumed the OP was accurate about Ringo singing it, even though I didn’t recall that to be the case. I pretty much lost interest in The Beatles post-White Album, so thought perhaps they did a cover after that. Unlike you, I don’t have release dates in a mental file.

I though that for years as well (about the Billy Swan version). Ringo never entered my mind.

I always knew it was Billy Swan. I remember when it came out. I never had any impression it was Ringo.

I always thought that Act Naturally is a country song.

Ringo’s second solo album was all country music, recorded in Nashville.

My favorite Paul McCartney/Beatles song was “The Things We Do for Love” :o

Everybody I knew back then thought it sounded like Ringo. I also remember disc jockeys telling people “this is not Pat Benatar” when they’d play “Harden My Heart” by Quarterflash.

Dale Sams, please use descriptive titles for threads you start.


twickster, Cafe Society moderator

It is. First recorded by Buck Owens.

I actually only found this out a few weeks ago - I thought it was a Lennon/McCartney piece before then. Which was always strange to me, as it really isn’t their style. It’s a fun song, but a bit out of place on Help! - as is the other cover song on there, “Dizzy Miss Lizzy.”