Since belatedly discovering Here Is Barbara Lynn
, the sole Atlantic album by the titular Texas soul singer, half-a-dozen years ago, I've often wondered why she never became a major star (Light in the Attic Records is reissuing that album next month). She was not only a remarkable vocalist with a plush, throaty, and powerful instrument, but one hell of a songwriter and a terrific guitarist (the latter two skills were generally suppressed in female artists during the early 60s, when she first emerged). She found her most consistent success for the Philly soul imprint Jamie, especially her original tune "You'll Lose a Good Thing," which reached the top ten on both the Billboard pop and and R&B charts in 1962. After her three-year deal expired she moved on to Tribe Records, cutting a few singles with moderate success before hooking up with soul powerhouse Atlantic. All 12 tracks from her 1968 album, as well as some subsequent singles she cut at Fame Studios in Memphis with Spooner Oldham and a few more done in 1972, turn up on the remarkable new anthology The Complete Atlantic Recordings
(Real Gone Music), including "Soul Deep," a previously unissued cut for Fame. Today's 12 O'Clock Track
is "(Until Then) I'll Suffer," a Lynn original from the Atlantic album that was inexplicably wasn't released a single until 1971, three years after the album dropped. It still managed to reach #31 on the R&B chart.