The Best Dylan Covers: Helen Baylor – What Can I Do For You?

helen baylor

What can I do for you? is a song by Bob Dylan from the album, Saved. Saved is the twentieth studio album by Dylan, released on June 23, 1980, by Columbia Records.

bob dylan saved

Helen Baylor (born January 8, 1953 as Helen LaRue Lowe) is an American gospel singer. She covered Dylan’s song for the Bob Dylan tribute album, Gotta Serve Somebody: The Gospel Songs of Bob Dylan

gospel

Helen Baylor does the song with Billy Preston on organ, they both do a fantastic job!

Baylor was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma and raised in Los Angeles, where she first performed as a nightclub act. She opened for Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, and B.B. King while still in her teens, and performed in the musical Hair.

In 1967/68 she worked with producer Bobby Sanders releasing two singles The Richest Girl and What About Me Boy as Little Helen for the Soultown label.

In the 1970s she joined hit Broadway musical Hair and followed this period of her career as a session musician for artists that included Captain & Tennille, Les McCann and Chaka Khan. As a member of Side Effect her vocals featured on their third album What You Need, from which “Always There”, a song co-written by Ronnie Laws was a R&B chart success. Later in the 1980s her career would falter as a consequence of drug abuse.

Baylor became sober late in the decade, strengthening her Christian faith and deciding to concentrate her career in gospel music. She released her first gospel recording on Word Records in 1990 and her first five albums all hit the Top Ten of the U.S. Billboard Top Gospel Albums chart, with the most successful being 1995’s The Live Experience, which reached #1 on that chart. The track “Oasis” was very successful in the UK, via Expansion Records and stayed on the Music Week Dance Chart for 14 weeks. Also, the song “Sold Out” (from the album Start All Over) won a Dove Award for Contemporary Gospel Recorded Song of the Year at the 24th GMA Dove Awards in 1993

In July 2011, Baylor announced that she is co-producing a feature film about her life story. The film, A Praying Grandmother:The Helen Baylor Story, will feature accounts that she first shared in the song, “Helen’s Testimony” (Word, 1995) and in her autobiography, No Greater Love: The Helen Baylor Story. Baylor approached award-winning filmmaker Cassandra Hollis to co-produce and direct the film.

Baylor was inducted into the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame in 2000.

– Hallgeir

 

Bonus:

Bob Dylan – What Can I Do For You? (live Toronto 1980):

Other entries in the series:
The Best Dylan covers: Stevie Wonder – Blowin’ in the wind
The Best Dylan Covers: George Harrison – If Not For You
The Best Dylan Covers: Emmylou Harris – Every Grain of Sand
The Best Dylan Covers: Them – It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue
The Best Dylan Covers: Joan Baez – Farewell Angelina
The Best Dylan Covers: Roger McGuinn – Up To Me

The Best Dylan Covers: Jeff Beck Group – Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here With You
The Best Dylan Covers: Susan Tedeschi – Lord Protect My Child
The Best Dylan Covers: Lucinda Williams – Tryin’ To Get To Heaven
The Best Dylan Covers: Jerry Garcia Band – Simple Twist of Faith
The Best Dylan Covers: Bruce Springsteen – All Along The WatchTower
The Best Dylan Covers: Patti Smith – Changing Of The Guards

The Best Dylan Covers: Johnny Rivers – Positively 4th Street
The Best Dylan Covers: Antony and The Johnsons – Knocking On Heaven’s Door
The Best Dylan Covers: Dave Alvin – Highway 61 Revisited
The Best Dylan Covers: 16 Horsepower – Nobody ‘Cept You
The Best Dylan Covers: Alicia Keys – Pressing On

The Best Dylan Covers: Cowboy Junkies – If You Gotta Go, Go Now
The Best Dylan Covers: Nina Simone – The Ballad of Hollis Brown
The Best Dylan Covers: Ramones – My Back Pages
The Best Dylan Covers: The Long Ryders – Masters of War
The Best Dylan Covers: Cat Power – Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis blues again
The Best Dylan Covers: The Flying Burrito Bros – To Ramona
The Best Dylan Covers: Chrissie Hynde – I Shall Be Released
The Best Dylan Covers: Norah Jones – I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight
The Best Dylan Covers: Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash – It Ain’t Me Babe
The Best Dylan Covers: Buddy Miller – With God On Our Side

The Best Dylan Covers: Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy aka Will Oldham – Brownsville Girl
The Best Dylan Covers: Lou Reed – Foot of Pride

The Best Dylan Covers: Indigo Girls – Tangled Up In Blue
The Best Dylan Covers: Tom Jones – What Good Am I

The Best Dylan Covers: Sarah Jarosz – Ring Them Bells
The Best Dylan Covers: Robert Plant – One More Cup Of Coffee
The Best Dylan Covers: Alison Krauss – I Believe In You
The Best Dylan Covers: Mick Ronson with David Bowie – Like A Rolling Stone
The Best Dylan Covers: Steve Earle – It Takes a lot to laugh, it takes a train to cry
The Best Dylan Covers: Patti Smith with Lenny Kaye – Boots of Spanish Leather
The Best Dylan Covers: Jimi Hendrix – All Along The Watchtower
The Best Dylan Covers: Rodney Crowell with Emmylou Harris – Shelter From The Storm
The Best Dylan Covers: John Lynch – One More Cup Of Coffee
The Best Dylan Covers: Peter Case – Long Time Gone

 

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