Lost or Forgotten Oldie of the Day: 1976 Yvonne Elliman – Love Me

1976 Yvonne Elliman – Love Me

Yvonne Elliman grew up in Honolulu, the daughter of a Japanese father and an Irish mother. She practiced playing several different instruments beginning at age four and became most proficient on the guitar. While in high school, she joined the folk group We Folk and competed in talent shows. After graduation, she took the advice of one of her teachers and moved to London in 1969 to work on a career in music.

Yvonne’s big break came when Tim Rice and We Folk cast her in 1970 as one of the singers on the original audio recording for the play Jesus Christ Superstar. Yvonne was cast in the play’s traveling show and played the part of Mary Magdalene.

Her new recording of the song I Don’t Know How To Love Him reached #28 on the US Hot 100 at the same time in 1971 that Helen Reddy’s version peaked at #13. Yvonne moved to New York and joined the first Broadway version of the play.

Yvonne sang background vocals on Eric Clapton’s hit record I Shot The Sheriff and subsequently sang on several of Eric’s albums.

Her second and third albums failed to put any of her singles back on the Hot 100, but in 1977 she recorded a song written by the Bee Gees, Love Me. The single reached #14 on the Hot 100 and #5 on the Adult Contemporary (AC) chart.

Barbara Lewis had the Dells doing backup vocals on her first single, and Hello Stranger reached #3 on the Hot 100 and the top of the R&B chart in 1963. Yvonne covered the song without the Dells and her single reached #15 on the Hot 100 and #1 on the AC chart in 1977.

Meanwhile, the Bee Gees had begun work on the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack and wrote How Deep Is Your Love for Yvonne. Robert Stigwood was in charge of the film, and when he insisted that the Bee Gees perform the song in the movie, they instead had her sing If I Can’t Have You. The single turned out to be her most successful release when it reached #1 on the Hot 100 in 1978.

Yvonne released two more singles that weren’t very successful and then chose to retire from performing so she could spend more time raising her kids. She released a new album in 2004; she wrote all the songs on the album.

Since then, Yvonne has continued to perform in public on a limited basis.


My books are on sale on Amazon (or free with Kindle Unlimited) and contain a lot more Lost or Forgotten Oldies. You can visit my author page to see them and you can read them for free with Kindle Unlimited!

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