Barbara Lynn “Don’t Spread It Around” (Jamie 1286, R&B #35 Pop #93, 1964)
First out the door: Barbara Lynn is a bad-ass. The Beaumont born Singer, Songwriter and Electric Guitarist celebrates her 74th Birthday today. A true R&B pioneer, she was one of the women that was determined to do it her way. Be that fronting her own all-female band Bobbie Lynn and Her Idols or composing the lion’s share of what she’d perform live or in the studio, she’s a pioneer that’s sorely overlooked in our retrospectives that give way too much attention to men, especially white men.
Of course, she’s best known to all audiences for her R&B chart topper and Pop crossover hit “You’ll Lose A Good Thing” from 1962. In reality, she continued to chart many efforts and compositions through the early 1970’s, and hasn’t relented on performing in the intervening years of steady record contracts. From the small Jamie and Tribe labels, she became one of a number of women that languished at Atlantic Records and their oft lackadaisical approach to female talent.
I’ve always been a great fan of Barbary Lynn the story teller, and all of her songs feature vivid storylines. My all-time favorite of hers is this string sweetened beat ballad from the Fall of ’64. To the ladies that gossip about playboys over cups of coffee during the afternoon, one can find themselves the subject of the gossip. I love the bittersweet end where Barbara the protagonist reveals that she is one and the same, one of the women she’s gossiping about, in love with the Town Tomcat paying everyone a visit. Those who live in glass houses, eh?