Barbara Lynn is a very good guitarist-singer who had one big hit single in the early 60's, and who is still playing and performing.
She was born Barbara Lynn Ozen to a Creole family in Beaumont, Texas in 1942. As a child she played piano, but things went in a different direction for Barbara when Elvis Presley exploded onto the scene in 1956. At the age of 13 she switched to the guitar, which she played left-handed, and played very well. The aspiring musician started her own band while a student at Hebert High School in Beaumont, Bobbie Lynn & the Idols. Before long she was playing in juke joints around Beaumont when she came to the attention of record producer Huey P. Meaux.
Meaux was somewhat of a local legend along the Gulf Coast and he brought Barbara to the J&M studio run by Cosimo Matassa, the well-known New Orleans music producer. She recorded a number of songs there, including one based on a poem that she had written for a boyfriend titled You'll Lose A Good Thing. Barbara Lynn began to draw notice. She was a good musician, and unusual for the time in that she was a female who played her own instrument, and played it very well, as well as writing her own songs. Her recording of You'll Lose A Good Thing was released on the Jamie Records label and shot up the national pop chart into the top ten, and topped the R&B chart, in 1962. She was 20 years old. Barbara appeared on Dick Clark's American Bandstand and began touring, appearing with a roster of prominent artists that included James Brown, Sam Cooke, Chuck Jackson, Gladys Knight, Otis Redding, Smokey Robinson, Carla Thomas, Jackie Wilson, and Stevie Wonder.
Her run was brief, due in part to inconsistent management as well as her marriage and subsequent move to California. She took time away from concentrating on her music career to devote to her family and raise her children. Following the death of her husband, she performed on a tour of Japan in 1986, and has been making appearances and making new recordings since reviving her career once more in the late 90's. She moved back to Beaumont in the late 80's.
Other artists including the Rolling Stones, Aretha Franklin and Freddy Fender have admired and recorded Barbara's music. The left-handed guitar player from the Gulf Coast with a soulful singing style is most closely identified with her top ten hit from 1962, You'll Lose A Good Thing.
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