The Talented Bettye Swann
Betty Barton (born Betty Jean Champion, October 24, 1944), better known by the stage name Bettye Swann, is a retired American singer. She is best known for her 1967 hit song “Make Me Yours”.
Betty Jean Champion
Also known as
October 24, 1944 (age 72)
Shreveport, Louisiana, United States
She was born in Shreveport, Louisiana, one of 14 children. She grew up in Arcadia, Louisiana, 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.
In 1964, she started a solo singing career, changing her name to 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 made #21 on the Billboard Hot 100. 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 covered by Joss Stone) and Merle Haggard’s “Today I Started Loving You Again”. After leaving Money Records she lived for a short time in Athens, Georgia. She continued to record until the mid-1970s, but with little commercial success. Her last public performance was in 1980, the year her husband and manager, George Barton, died.
She later changed her name to Betty Barton, began working as a teacher in the Las Vegas area, and became a Jehovah’s Witness. She is now retired and, according to a 2005 interview, suffers from a degenerative spinal condition.
In 2015, multiple elements from her 1974 recording “Kiss My Love Goodbye” were sampled in the Galantis single “Peanut Butter Jelly”.
* 1967: Make Me Yours (Money)
* 1969: 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)
* 2015: The Very Best of Bettye Swann (Kent)
“Don’t Wait Too Long”
“Make Me Yours”
“Fall in Love with Me”
“Don’t Touch Me”
“Angel of the Morning”
“Don’t You Ever Get Tired (of Hurting Me)”
“Little Things Mean a Lot”
“Victim of a Foolish Heart”
“‘Til I Get It Right”
“Today I Started Loving You Again”
“The Boy Next Door”
“All the Way In or All the Way Out”