Barbara Lynn, who turned 72 last month, was born in South Texas’ Golden Triangle region of the Gulf Coast. Beaumont to be exact, where she still resides today. Playing its clubs as a southpaw teen guitarist, she barely clocked 20 years old when her first single, “You’ll Lose a Good Thing,” soared to No. 1 on the Billboard R&B chart and No. 8 on the pop chart. Before she knew it, she appeared on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand. Twice.
In the ensuing years and decades, neither being a woman nor Sixties civil unrest slowed her down. “You’ll Lose a Good Thing” was later covered by Aretha Franklin and Texas legend Freddy Fender. One of the greatest thrills of Lynn’s career was when one particular artist called her up personally to get permission to cover another of her tunes.
“Mick Jagger called me at my manager’s office,” she recalls by phone from Beaumont. “My manager said to me, ‘There’s someone I would like you to talk to, Barbara. His name is Mick Jagger.’ I said, ‘You mean the Mick Jagger with the Rolling Stones?!’ He said, ‘Yes ma’am.’ Jagger told me, ‘I’m here to collaborate with your manager and ask you if it’s all right with you for us to record your song “Oh Baby (We Got a Good Thing Goin’).”’
“I told him, ‘You have my full permission!’”
While Lynn stepped back from music to become a mother, as a grandmother she’s still rocking loud and hard, bringing it with the gusto she’s had her entire career. Her grandkids’ band, the Johnsons, are also on the bill, along with the Soul Supporters and DJ Topper James. She’s a powerhouse performer, a woman of great tales, and full of joyous laughter.– William Harries Graham