Can't keep a good woman down: Barbara in 2001

Barbara at the New Orleans Rock 'N' Bowl, April 2005

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The LP saw Barbara surrender much of the songwriting duties to Thomas, Thomas, and McRee, but it did contain such excellent self-authored numbers like "(Until Then) I'll Suffer" and "You're Losing Me," the latter failing to chart when selected for release as her second Atlantic 45. Her next sessions, with arrangers Spooner Oldham and Charlie Chalmers at the fabled Fame Studios in Florence, Alabama, provided her with material for two singles, but neither "You're Gonna See A Lot More (Of My Leaving)" nor her version of Clarence Carter's "He (She) Ain't Gonna Do Right" saw much action.

There then followed a three year recording hiatus, which Atlantic broke with the release on 45 of "(Until Then) I'll Suffer" and "Take Your Love And Run," two standout tracks from her album. The single, which also saw regional release on Meaux's Jetstream label, provided the now married artist with her biggest R'n'B hit since "It's Better To Have It" some six years earlier, and precipitated her return to recording, this time at her manager's Sugar Hill Studios in Houston. "I'm A One Man Woman" consolidated her revived fortunes, but the next 45, "(Daddy Hot Stuff) You're Too Hot To Hold", failed to register. A Jetstream single coupling the two B-sides, "Nice And Easy" and "You Better Quit It," appeared around the same time. Barbara capped her five-year stint at Atlantic in fine style with the self-written "It Ain't No Good To Be Too Good," and then put her record button on pause for another three years. After a superb Jetstream double header which paired "Movin' On A Groove" and "Disco Music," Barbara's recorded output slowed to a trickle with "Give Him His Freedom" on Starflite and "I'm Still The Same" on Jamstone being her only known releases over the next decade.

Barbara spent several years touring the Southern States and in 1984 overcame her fear of air travel by flying to Japan, where Tokyo gigs yielded a live double album We Got A Good Thing Goin' on Dead Ball. In 1988 she released the Ichiban LP You Don't Have To Go and followed that with a set entitled So Good on Bullseye some six years later. Further CDs have been released in recent years.

On CD

The advent of the CD era has seen Barbara's impressive body of 1960s and 1970s work anthologized in fine style. The Ichiban label was first off the mark in 1996 with The Best Of Barbara Lynn: The Atlantic Years, which gathered together the bulk of her 1967-1973 recordings. Her entire output for Jamie, including a long-lost (faux) live album and a number of fabulous previously unissued tracks, was packaged as two discs entitled You'll Lose A Good Thing and Promises by Bear Family. Barbara's recordings for Huey Meaux's logos are available on Edsel's The Crazy Cajun Recordings and Westside's Blue Soul Belles, Volume 2: The Complete Tribe And Jetstream Recordings. It's not possible to recommend any of these CDs too highly.

In recent times many of Barbara's vintage recordings have enjoyed popularity on the northern soul scene, a happenstance which culminated in the singer making her first ever trip to Britain in 1999 for a live show. I was there to witness Barbara strap on her guitar, and can report that she sounded and looked as great as ever.

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