With her parents' consent, Meaux brought Lynn to New Orleans to record at the legendary Cosimo's studio. Lynn cut a few singles for the Jamie label with the understanding that if none hit, she was to attend college instead of pursuing music right off the bat. In 1962, her self-penned ballad "You'll Lose a Good Thing" became a national hit, reaching the pop Top Ten and climbing all the way to number one on the R&B charts. Her first album (of the same name) was also released that year, featuring ten of her originals among its 12 tracks. Lynn continued to record for Jamie up through 1965, producing follow-up R&B hits like "You're Gonna Need Me" and "Oh Baby (We Got a Good Thing Goin')," the latter of which was recorded by the Rolling Stones in 1965. In 1966, Lynn switched over to Meaux's Tribe label and cut "You Left the Water Running," which became something of an R&B standard and was covered by the likes of Otis Redding. In 1967, she signed with Atlantic and had another R&B hit with "This Is the Thanks I Get" early the following year; she also issued another album, Here Is Barbara Lynn, in 1968. Lynn scored one last hit for Atlantic in 1972's "(Until Then) I'll Suffer," but by this point, she had several children to worry about raising; dissatisfied with her promotion anyway, she wound up effectively retiring from the music business for most of the '70s and '80s, though she did play the occasional low-key tour.
Lynn returned to music in the mid-'80s, touring Japan for the first time in 1984; she later cut a live album there, called You Don't Have to Go, which was eventually issued in the States by Ichiban. Lynn had managed to retain a cult following among connoisseurs of American soul and blues in several different pockets of the world, and toured internationally during the early '90s. In 1994, Bullseye Blues issued her first full-fledged studio album in over two decades, So Good; Until Then I'll Suffer followed in 1996. Lynn later caught on with the respected blues label Antone's, and in 2000 she cut Hot Night Tonight, which featured a couple of raps by her son Bachelor Wise. ~ Steve Huey, Rovi