Song:Let It Be Me
By 1964, Jerry Butler had established himself as one of the most versatile singers around and one of the top stars of R & B with hits like He Will Break Your Heart and Moon River. Betty Everett had just scored her first top ten hit with It's In His Kiss (The Shoop Shoop Song). So it wasn't surprising when Vee-Jay Records producer Calvin Carter decided to have Butler and Everett record together. But I'm sure they were all surprised when Let It Be Me turned out to be a bigger hit than any of their solo hits. The album of mostly covers was called Delicious Together. Let It Be Me reached #5 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song was written by legendary French singer songwriter Gilbert Becaud with English lyrics by Manny Curtis. It was first recorded by Jill Corey in 1957 on the TV series Climax!. Then Cadence Records owner Archie Bleyer gave the song to The Everly Brothers and Let It Be Me reached #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1958. That is the most memorable version of Let it Be Me but Butler and Everett's version comes a close second. Butler and Everett also charted with their cover of the Charles Chaplin classic Smile. Delicious Together isn't available on CD. It's a short album anyway. But Let It Be Me and Smile are on this Jerry Butler comp from the Dutch oldies label Neon. Vee-Jay Records went bankrupt in 1966 so the two never recorded together again. Butler signed with Mercury Records in 1969 and had a lot of success there including some duets with Brenda Lee Eager. He also recorded for Motown and Philadelphia International. Currently Butler hosts PBS oldies specials and has been a Cook County commissioner since 1985. Betty Everett recorded for UNI, Fantasy and United Artists but she never had another big hit. Here's Jerry Butler and Betty Everett performing Let It Be Me on a PBS oldies special. I understand this was Betty's final public appearance prior to her 2001 death.