Bettye Swann’s Soul Retrospective Deserves the Hype

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.


The more we thought about how MoJo's journalism can have the most impact heading into the 2020 election, the more we realized that so many of today's stories come down to corruption: democracy and the rule of law being undermined by the wealthy and powerful for their own gain.

So we're launching a new Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption. We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We'll publish what we find as a major series in the summer of 2020, including a special issue of our magazine, a dedicated online portal, and video and podcast series so it doesn't get lost in the daily deluge of breaking news.

It's unlike anything we've done before and we've got seed funding to get started, but we're asking readers to help crowdfund this new beat with an additional $500,000 so we can go even bigger. You can read why we're taking this approach and what we want to accomplish in "Corruption Isn't Just Another Scandal. It's the Rot Beneath All of Them," and if you like how it sounds, please help fund it with a tax-deductible donation today.

We Recommend


Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

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


Support our journalism

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