“There weren’t really any women playing electric guitar that I knew of coming up,” says Lynn, now 68 and living in Beaumont with her 88-year-old mother, Mildred Richard. “But after I saw Elvis Presley on the TV when I was just a kid, I just wanted to play the guitar so bad.”
“The Empress of Gulf Coast Soul” will be honored Thursday at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center with a Star of Texas Folklife award. Also receiving Stars will be fiddle great Johnny Gimble and accordion master Santiago Jiménez Jr. The event is a benefit for Texas Folklife, an organization that has promoted Texas roots music for 25 years. Classy and soulful Barbara Lynn, meanwhile, has made Texas proud for almost 50 years.