Barbara Lynn

Born: Jan. 16, 1942 in Beaumont, Texas

     Barbara Lynn (born Barbara Lynn Ozen, later Barbara Lynn Cumby) is a rhythm and blues guitarist, singer and songwriter.  After winning several local talent shows as a teenager, she created an all-female band, Bobbie Lynn and Her Idols.

 

     Singer Joe Barry introduced Lynn to producer Huey P. Meaux.  Her first single, "You'll Lose A Good Thing", co-written by her, was recorded at Cosimo Matassa's J&M studio.  It was a number 1 US Billboard R&B hit and Top 10 Billboard Hot 100 hit in 1962.  The song was later recorded by Aretha Franklin, and became a hit record for Freddy Fender. Lynn also released an album, also titled “You'll Lose A Good Thing”, which featured ten of her compositions.

 

     Unusual for the time, Lynn was a female African American singer who both wrote most of her own songs and played a lead instrument. She toured with soul musicians such as Gladys Knight, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Dionne Warwick, James Brown, Marvin Gaye, Ike and Tina Turner, the Temptations, and B.B. King. She had several more successful songs including, "Oh Baby (We've Got A Good Thing Goin')" (1964) which was covered by the Rolling Stones, and "You Left the Water Running," which was covered by Otis Redding.

 

     She married at age 28, in 1970 and had three children. This, together with dissatisfaction with poor promotion by the record company, contributed to her decision to retire from the music business for most of the 1970s and 1980s.

 

     In 1984 she toured Japan, and recorded a live album, “You Don't Have to Go”, which was released later in the US. She resumed her recording career after her husband's death, and returned to Beaumont, where she continues to occasionally perform.

Barbara Lynn performs "You'll Lose A Good Thing."