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Johnny Lyon & Janet Lynn

Austin, Texas

Records with Sonobeat in 1973
No commercial releases on Sonobeat Records
The Country Nu-Notes, headlined by Johnny Lyon and Janet Lynn, appearing in a publicity photo during a Waco, Texas, appearance August 8, 1974, edition of The Waco Citizen newspaper). Note the male band members' matching outfits. From left to right: Jimmy Placker, Bob Garrott, Janet Lynn, Bill Henderson, Johnny Lyon, and Phil Tucker.
Johnny and Janet use this sketch in newspaper ads for their appearances with the Country Nu-Notes during the mid-'70s

Performing down-home Texas country music, Johnny Lyon and Janet Lynn record at the Sonobeat studios on North Lamar in Austin, Texas, in March 1973. Sonobeat producer Bill Josey Sr.'s ultra-abbreviated session notes uniquely are written on masking tape affixed to the half-inch 4-track tape reel on which the masters of several artists, including Johnny and Janet, are sequenced. Unfortunately, Bill doesn't indicate the titles of any of the songs recorded by any of those artists or the names of the additional musicians who contribute to the recordings, but via one of Johnny's friends and as verified in our 2018 search of the Austin American-Statesman newspaper archives, we have the scoop on who performs on Johnny and Janet's tracks, all of whom are members of Johnny's band, the Country Nu-Notes. Johnny's friend also confirms that Johnny and Janet are only a "singing" couple, not a "married" couple (Johnny's wife is Suzy Joseph). The band, headlined by Johnny and Janet, travels throughout Texas from a red, white, and blue Continental Trailways motor coach driven by roadie Skip Hinkle.

The Sonobeat archives don't shed further light on the Johnny and Janet recording sessions. It appears that Bill Sr. records two or three songs by the pair, but we've found no stereo or mono mix-downs in the archives, so in 2017 we make a fresh stereo mix from the half-inch 4-track session master of an upbeat duet, title unknown, to demonstrate the pure country music heritage that Johnny and Janet embody in 1973.

A year later, in 1974, Bill Sr. records the Country Nu-Notes at South Austin's iconic Broken Spoke music hall in sessions featuring Johnny on guitar and vocals and Janet on vocals. Johnny starts his music career later in life, first serving over 20 years as an Air Force pilot with tours of duty in Vietnan and retiring in 1981 as a Lt. Colonel. In 1978, while still serving as a reserve Air Force officer, Johnny co-founds the Texas Hall of Fame in Bryan, Texas, his hometown, to celebrate Texas-based counry music. Johnny, known for his "real Texas country", remains active in the Texas country music scene until the 2000s, and succumbs at age 73 to cancer on November 28, 2010.

The Queen of Texas Country Music.
Larry Monroe, KUT-FM (Austin), on Janet Lynn

After the Sonobeat sessions, Janet (who grows up with the nickname "Bubbles", given to her by her mother) moves to Nashville to pursue her singing career, working with dozens of country music legends of the '70s, '80s, and '90s. In 1999, she receives the SXSWSouth By Southwest, also known as "SXSW" or "South By" and whose name is inspired by the Alfred Hitchcock thriller North By Northwest, begins in 1987 as an Austin-based music festival and since has expanded to cover feature films and interactive media. SXSW pretty much takes over Austin during The University of Texas spring break every March. Lifetime Achievement Award and is inducted into the Texas Music Hall of Fame, and, in 2000, she's inducted into the Texas Western Swing Hall of Fame. In 2007, Janet returns to Austin, where she still performs regularly, having done a long stint as an actress/comedian at Austin's iconic Esther's Follies on Pecan (6th) Street, and currently tours throughout Texas with her band Janet Lynn & Friends. She also owns the Aus-Tex record label and Get Your Act Together, where she provides vocal coaching for aspiring and established singers alike.

Thank you!

Our thanks to Brad McGrew for background information on Johnny Lyons and Janet Lynn, for confirming that the band backing Johnny and Janet for the 1973 Sonobeat sessions is the Country Nu-Notes, and for providing the names of the band members appearing in the Waco publicity photo.

Johnny Lyon & Janet Lynn personnel

Bob Garrott: drums
Johnny Lyon: guitar and vocals
Janet Lynn: guitar and vocals
Paul McLaughlin: piano, fiddle, trumpet, and guitar
Phil Tucker: lead guitar
Jimmy Placker: pedal steel guitar
Mickey Rice: bass

Unreleased Sonobeat recordings

Unidentified song #1
Unidentified song #2

Produced and engineered by Bill Josey Sr.
Recorded at Sonobeat studios on North Lamar, Austin, Texas, on March 18, 1973
Recording equipment: ElectroVoice 665 microphones, ElectroVoice Slimair 636 microphones, Sony ECM22 electret condenser microphones, Scully 280 half-inch 4-track tape deck, Stemco half-inch 4-track tape deck, custom 10-channel portable stereo mixer, custom 16-channel 4-bus mixing console, Fairchild Lumiten 663ST optical compressor, Blonder-Tongue Audio Baton 9-band stereo graphic equalizer, custom steel plate stereo reverb, 3M (Scotch) 206 tape stock

A new stereo mix by Sonobeat Historical Archives from the original half-inch 4-track session master


Who says country artists aren't Rhodes scholars... well, as smart as Rhodes scholars. Phil Tucker, who plays lead guitar on the Johnny Lyon and Janet Lynn sessions, is a good ol' boy from the small town of Temple, Texas. He quits Johnny's band, the Country Nu-Notes, in 1976 to pursue a post doctorate degree in Cambridge, England!

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Janet Lynn today
Sonobeat producer Bill Josey Sr. archives multiple artists on the same half-inch 4-track tape reel; here, Johnny and Janet's recordings share a reel with Jess DeMaine's and Joyce Spence’s