Texas R&B great, Barbara Lynn receives National Heritage Fellowship

The National Endowment for the Arts has awarded Beaumont R&B singer and guitarist, Barbara Lynn with a National Heritage Fellowship. Mary Anne Carter, acting chairman for the National Endowment for the Arts says the fellowship recognizes artists who “have dedicated their lives to mastering these distinctive art forms and sharing them with new audiences both within their communities and nationwide.”

Barbara Lynn will join the trio of Marcia Ball, Angela Strehli and Lou Ann Barton at Antone’s on July 12. Contributed/Sarah Rucker, Texas Folklife

Lynn carved a place for herself in Texas music history in the ’60s. She traveled the world, opened for the likes of Stevie Wonder and Smokey Robinson, and appeared on “American Bandstand” twice. Her hit “You’ll Lose a Good Thing” was covered by both Aretha Franklin and Freddy Fender. An anomaly for her era, Lynn not only wrote her own R&B hits, she also played lead guitar in her band.

RELATED: Music and family remain central for Barbara Lynn

In 1964, the Rolling Stones covered her hit song “Oh Baby (We’ve Got A Good Thing Goin’).”

Her career tapered off in the early ’70s as she paused to have children, but it’s picked back up in the past 20 years or so.

Lynn will receive a $25,000 award and be honored in Washington, DC at an awards ceremony on September 26, 2018 and at a free concert on September 28, 2018. The concert will be streamed live at arts.gov.

Austin fans won’t have to wait that long to hear Lynn’s Gulf Coast soul. She’ll be at Antone’s on July 10 as part of the club’s 43rd anniversary bash.

Barbara Lynn circa 1965. Courtesy Doug Hanners/Texas Music Museum as it appears in ‘All Over the Map’ by Michael Corcoran

Author: Deborah Sengupta Stith

Deborah Sengupta Stith has been hanging out in dimly lit corners of the city soaking in the music scene for almost 20 years. Twitter: @deborific

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