Barbara Lynn 45 RPM: "You'll Lose a Good Thing"

Texan becomes a rhythm and blues pioneer

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by Jenny Cobb, Associate Curator of Exhibitions

Singer and guitarist Barbara Lynn is well-known for her classic, late 1960s soul music sound.

Born in Beaumont, Texas in 1942, Lynn played piano as a child before switching to guitar. At the age of 20, she wrote and recorded her first and most successful single, “You’ll Lose a Good Thing,” released by Jamie Records in 1962. It rose to the top of the charts and remained there for three weeks. The song’s success led Lynn to tour with major R&B stars including Gladys Knight, James Brown, and Otis Redding, and landed her an appearance on American Bandstand.

Lynn released several more successful singles, one of which, “Oh Baby (We’ve Got a Good Thing Goin’),” was recorded by the Rolling Stones in 1965. Not only did Lynn write her own material, which was unusual at the time, but she also played electric guitar left-handed. In the decades that followed, she recorded and performed very little, choosing to devote more time to raising her family before releasing six more albums between 1984 and 2004. 

In 1999, Lynn was awarded a Pioneer Award by the Rhythm and Blues Foundation for her contributions to the development of rhythm and blues music. Barbara Lynn currently lives in Beaumont.

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Barbara Lynn 45 RPM: "You'll Lose a Good Thing" Artifact from Beaumont, Texas
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