Barbara Lynn!

Gary: “I have a great R&B singer to talk about here…  Yes, I am aware that she really only had one top 40 hit, but I will include a couple of other songs of the this Singer from Beaumont, Texas.  Let’s see now, good singer, attractive women and good guitar player, that should do it.  I really love her version of We Got A Good Thing Goin’.

Barbara Lynn

(born Barbara Lynn Ozen, later Barbara Lynn Cumby)

2013 – We Got A Good Thing Goin’ On

and From 2005

You’ll Lose a Good Thing/ Jamie 1220/ July 1962/ # 8  #1 R&B 3 weeks


You’re Gonna Need Me/ Jamie/ December 1962/

Oh! Baby (We got a good thing goin’/ Jamie/ June 1964

Barbara Lynn was born Barbara Lynn Ozen in Beaumont, TX, on January 16, 1942; she played the piano as a child before switching to guitar, inspired by Elvis Presley.

In junior high, she formed her own band, “Bobbie Lynn and the Idols”; at this point, her musical role models veered between bluesmen (Guitar Slim, Jimmy Reed) and female pop singers (Brenda Lee, Connie Francis).

After winning a few talent shows and playing some teen dances, the still-underage Lynn started working the local clubs and juke joints, risking getting kicked out of school if she had been discovered.

Singer Joe Barry caught her live act and recommended her to his friend, producer/impresario Huey P. Meaux, aka the Crazy Cajun.With her parents’ consent,

Meaux brought Lynn to New Orleans to record at the legendary Cosimo’s studio. She cut a few singles for the Jamie label with the understanding that if none hit, she was to attend college instead of pursuing music.

In 1962, her self-penned ballad “You’ll Lose a Good Thing” became a national hit, reaching the pop Top Ten and climbing all the way to number one on the R&B charts. Her first album (of the same name) was also released that year, featuring ten of her originals among its 12 tracks.

Lynn continued to record for Jamie up through 1965, producing follow-up R&B hits like “You’re Gonna Need Me” and “Oh Baby (We Got a Good Thing Goin’),” the latter of which was recorded by the Rolling Stones in 1965.

In 1966, Lynn switched over to Meaux‘s Tribe label and cut “You Left the Water Running,” which became something of an R&B standard and was covered by the likes of Otis Redding.

In 1967, she signed with Atlantic and had another R&B hit with “This Is the Thanks I Get” early the following year; she also issued another album, Here Is Barbara Lynn, in 1968.

Lynn scored one last hit for Atlantic in 1972’s “(Until Then) I’ll Suffer,” but by this point, she had several children to worry about raising; dissatisfied with her promotion anyway, she wound up effectively retiring from the music business for most of the ’70s and ’80s, though she did play the occasional low-key tour.

Lynn returned to music in the mid-’80s, touring Japan for the first time in 1984; she later cut a live album there, called You Don’t Have to Go, which was eventually issued in the States by Ichiban.

Lynn had managed to retain a cult following among connoisseurs of American soul and blues in several different pockets of the world, and toured internationally during the early ’90s.

In 1994, Bullseye Blues issued her first full-fledged studio album in over two decades, So Good; Until Then I’ll Suffer followed in 1996.

Lynn later caught on with the respected blues label Antone’s, and in 2000 she cut Hot Night Tonight, which featured a couple of raps by her son Bachelor Wise.


  • 1963 You’ll Lose A Good Thing (Jamie)
  • 1964 Sister of Soul (Jamie)
  • 1968 Here Is Barbara Lynn (Atlantic)
  • 1988 You Don’t Have To Go (Ichiban)
  • 1993 So Good (Bullseye Blues)
  • 1996 Until Then I’ll Suffer (I.T.P.)
  • 2000 Hot Night Tonight (Antone’s)
  • 2004 Blues & Soul Situation (Dialtone)



6 responses to “Barbara Lynn!

  1. Email from Marilyn. Washington State, USA

    I was so glad to see you write about Barbara Lynn, another senior R&B artist that can still put out a song and play the guitar. She’s still wearing sleeveless dresses too. Not many senior gals do that. Only another woman would notice that. Barbara is lookin’ and soundin’ goooood.
    – Marilyn

  2. I must admit that I knew nothing about Barbara Lynn until last fall when I came across “Here Is Barbara Lynn” on a jumble sale. Jumble sales are good hunts for old vinyl around my neck of the woods (Oslo, Norway) since few people seem to be interested in them now a days. I fell for her music right away.

    The record was in mint condition and still is, since when I strike gold like that I play the record only twice, once to listen to it on a professional headset, and the second time to convert them into cd’s and mp3’s.

  3. Wow, a soul sister who played electric guitar southpaw! If you had asked me to name an African American singer in the 60s who played guitar left handed I could have only named one — until now!

  4. I watched the fading titles of the latest episode of Mad Men and am I right in thinking that I heard Barbara Lynn singing over the credits ” Trust Me” . I am not sure of the exact title. How could this artist have missed out on well deserved popular aclaim? Of all the many Stones covers Oh Baby… the original is my favourite similar scenerio to ”……. Time is on My Side from Irma. I would love to see this artist get the recognition she deserves.

  5. The Jamie Singles Collection Album 1962-1965 that has “You’ll Lose a Good Thing” has two more of my personal Barbara Lynn favorites: “Don’t be Cruel” and “Don’t Spread it Around.”
    A young Barbara Lynn recorded them in her distinctive voice and put her unique style on two classics. I think she should have been a mega star. Give a listen and see what you think.

  6. Pingback: Barbara Lynn | foremothers

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