23 November 1931, New York City, New York, USA. Lynne began singing as a very small child in the local Mother African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, but she was also interested in secular music. She entered numerous amateur talent contests, including one at the famed Apollo theatre, which she won, and these helped to attract attention. Although she studied music for five years, much of her learning was gained through gigging with jazz musicians including Quincy Jones, Bobby Timmons, Philly Joe Jones and Harry Sweets Edison. She began making records and in the early 60s had minor hits with June Night, Love I Found You and a big one with I Wish You Love, a recording that did much to establish her career. She toured as supporting artist to many other singers, such as Ray Charles, Ella Fitzgerald and Billy Eckstine. Nevertheless, after the hits and some moderately successful albums, limelight work became harder to find.
The late 60s and 70s were leaner years, although Lynne never stopped singing, continuing to develop her personal style and keep her voice in good order. Perseverance paid off and in the 90s an earlier recording of hers, Speaking Of Happiness, was used in the movie Seven, and was also taken up for a television commercial for the Ford Motor Company both in the USA and the UK. This helped to reawaken interest and her appearances became higher in profile; a new recording in 1997 drew the attention of audiences who had lost touch or who had missed her earlier heyday. Lynnes voice is strong and authoritative and even as she approached her late 60s, she displayed no loss of power and few of the inevitable signs of ageing to which singers are prey. Lynne has also written songs, among other things supplying lyrics to the jazz instrumentals Watermelon Man by Herbie Hancock, and Kenny Burrells All Day Long.
Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.