John Lennon enjoyed a song called “I Can Help” by Billy Swan because it reminded him of early Elvis Presley music. Later, Elvis covered the same song and even mentioned Billy at a Las Vegas concert. However, Elvis wrongly guessed the song was still chart-topping when he covered it.
In a 1975 Rolling Stone interview, John mentioned how much he loved “I Can Help” and how it reminded him of jukebox music. During the 1970s, many people felt nostalgic for Elvis’s early songs, which might be why the track became popular.
John wasn’t a fan of albums. He believed they had unimpressive tracks and that no artist, even the greats like Little Richard and Elvis, could keep listeners engaged for an entire album.
Billy Swan’s “I Can Help” was a big hit, staying on the Billboard Hot 100 for 18 weeks. It was his most successful single, with others not even reaching the top 50. The song was also the title track of an album that peaked at No. 21 on the Billboard 200. Sadly, Billy’s later albums didn’t chart in the US.
Elvis loved the song so much that he covered it. Billy shared in a 2022 interview that he was thrilled with Elvis’s version. He also mentioned a surprise shoutout from Elvis during a Las Vegas show. Elvis mistakenly thought the song was still a big hit when he covered it, but unfortunately, his version never made it to the Billboard Hot 100.
In short, John Lennon appreciated “I Can Help”, and Elvis Presley’s cover was the ultimate tribute to the track.