Can’t We Try – Dan Hill (with Vonda Shepard) | Top 40 Chart Performance, Story and Song Meaning

Chart Performance: Pop (#6) & Adult Contemporary (#2); 1987

Story Behind The Song By Ed Osborne

Vonda Shepard’s pop culture claim to fame is her ongoing role as a nightclub singer in television’s Ally McBeal series. Yet, many moons before her TV star turn, Vonda’s vocals graced a hit record by Dan Hill. Hill had grown up listening to recordings by Sinatra and Ella, and ultimately fashioned his own career as a coffeehouse singer in his native Canada. His big breakthrough came in 1978 with Sometimes When We Touch, which topped out at #3. Follow-up singles flopped and Dan stepped out of the spotlight, writing songs for other artists such as George Benson and Tina Turner. Nine years after Touch, Dan reappeared with another hit of his own, Can’t We Try, written with his wife, Beverly. This time Dan’s success was longer-lived as four subsequent singles reached the Adult Contemporary Top 10. Can’t We Try enjoyed a revival in 1998 when female dance singer Rockell took her take on Dan’s tune to #59.

This content and all Song Meaning articles were created and written by Top 40 Contributing Editor Ed Osborne. © 2024 Ed Osborne. All Rights Reserved. In addition to these song meaning articles, Ed has written our “Year in Music 1960s-1990s” articles.

Produced by:

  • Hank Medress
  • John Capek

Lyrics Written by:

  • Beverly Chapin Hill
  • Dan Hill