Although she only recorded a handful of singles Lynn Williams big talent and enthusiasm deserved a much longer and more successful musical career. She started out at the tender age of 15 with a Dade 45 that is now rather rare. “I’ll Except” (note the dreadful spelling) is a little too “teen beat” for my taste but the ballad flip Tears In My Eyes shows a considerably more measured tone in her vocal, with some nicely phrased passages and good dynamic sense. This side of Lynn’s personality was even better portrayed in the excellent Don’t Be Surprise – more atrocious spelling! – for Suncut. On this recording she was putting vocals on a track that had already been used by the Diamonettes, and although their version of “Don’t Be Surprised” is very good, Lynn knocks them into a cocked hat. This Clarence Reid song has some fine chord changes and Lynn makes the most of them, singing with a maturity of expression you wouldn’t expect from somebody of her age.
Her next 45 resurrected an old Sam Early track You Are The Greatest which he recorded as Apt 25041 in 1960 and while Sam was boisterously demonstrative, Lynn is more restrained and demure despite the big build up at the start of the cut. Love the jazzy tenor sax from the Rising Sun band, which weaves in and out of her voice. This was rereleased as the flip of “Kissess Kisses Kisses” a couple of years later. Lynn’s final single “Is It Possible” is a very pleasant Miami beat ballad, with that rhythmic lilt that was so typical of TK productions from that period. I’m pleased to say that the synth strings aren’t too obtrusive. By this time Lynn was showing just how good a singer she had grown into – such a shame that she didn’t build on this with further recordings. The flip “Theme For Vanilla” is a tribute to her mother, who was in show business as well. Incidentally Lynn’s father was the great old rock ‘n’ roller Hank Ballard.
Lynn has not been in the best of health over the last few years but the latest news is much more positive. I’m sure we all wish her continued good health.
I’ll except / Tears in my eyes ~ DADE 2030 (1970)
Don’t be surprise / How can you call love fascination ~ SUNCUT 1008 (1970)
You are the greatest / It Takes two ~ DADE no# (early 70s)
Kisses kisses kisses / You are the greatest ~ TK 1006 (1974)
Is it possible / Theme for Vanilla ~ DADE 2040 (1975)
1. Special thanks to Florida soul expert Jeff Lemlich for help and info.
2. You can find Lynn's "Tears In My Eyes", "You Are The Gretest" and her vocal to "Don't Be Surprise" on the "Miami Soul Sisters Vol 1" CD - the last of these under the Diamonettes name.