Barbara Lynn Ozen is an American rhythm and blues guitarist, singer and songwriter born in Beaumont, Texas and played piano as a child but switched to guitar, which she plays left-handed, inspired by Guitar Slim, Jimmy Reed, Elvis Presley and Brenda Lee. She is best known for her R&B chart-topping hit You’ll Lose A Good Thing. In 2018, Lynn received the National Heritage Fellowship. She performed in local clubs in Texas, where singer Joe Berry introduced her to Huey P. Meaux who ran Sugarhill Recording Studio and several labels in New Orleans. Her first single, You’ll Lose A Good Thing, co-written by her and Meaux, was recorded at Cosimo Matassa’s J&M Studio with session musicians including Dr. John and was released by Jamie Records in 1962. It was a #1 US Billboard R&B chart hit and Top 10 Hot 100 hit. The song was later recorded by Aretha Franklin and became a country hit for Freddy Fender. Unusual for the time, Lynn was a female African American singer who both wrote most of her own songs and played a lead instrument.
Soon Lynn was touring with Gladys Knight, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Dionne Warwick, Jackie Wilson, Sam Cooke, Otis Redding, James Brown, Al Green, Carla Thomas, Marvin Gaye, Ike and Tina Turner, The Temptations and B.B. King. She appeared at the Apollo Theater, twice on American Bandstand. In 1965 she had her song, Oh Baby (We’ve Got A Good Thing Goin’) (1964) covered by the Rolling Stones on their album The Rolling Stones Now! in the US and Out Of Our Heads in the UK. She signed with Atlantic Records in 1967 and recorded Here is Barbara Lynn in 1968. Dissatisfaction with poor promotion and having three children in 1970 largely contributed to her decision to retire from the music business for most of the 1970s and 1980s. In 1994 she recorded her first studio album for over 20 years. In 1999, she was given a Pioneer Award by the Rhythm and Blues Foundation. In 2002, Moby sampled Lynn’s I’m A Good Woman, on his album 18. She appears in the 2015 documentary film, I Am The Blues. In 2018, Lynn received the National Heritage Fellowship Award.