Artist: Margo Guryan
Song: “What Can I Give You?”
Album: Take A Picture, 1968
What happened: Guryan picked up her first major-label songwriting credit when she was in college. Nine years after she graduated–and after Pet Sounds inspired her to add more pop elements to her songwriting–she recorded an album of original material. But when Take A Picture came out, Guryan lost interest in performing live; the album picked up some favorable notices but was snubbed by DJs in the United States, and Guryan eventually became a music teacher.
Why it should have been a hit: “What Can I Give You?” is a fun, shuffly number, and its slightly out-of-key piano and crowd whoops give the song a blasted-barroom feel. But what makes it truly great is Guryan’s voice, which begs for direction in a register that’s barely above a whisper; it teeters on the line between flirtatiousness and secrecy, and you wonder if she’s offering her confidant advice or something more.
Margo Guryan – What Can I Give You? [MP3, link expired]
Margo Guryan [Franklin Castle Records]