Johnny Lyon & Janet Lynn

Austin, Texas

Records with Sonobeat in 1973
No commercial releases on Sonobeat Records

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 abbreviated session notes uniquely are written on masking tape affixed to the 4-track half-inch 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 additional musicians who have contributed to the recordings, but via one of Johnny's friends as well as a 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 Sonobeat archives don't shed further light on the Johnny Lyon and Janet Lynn 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 here we've made 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, featuring Johnny on guitar and vocals and Janet on vocals. Johnny later creates the country music Texas Hall of Fame in Bryan, Texas, his hometown, and remains active in the Central Texas country music scene until the 2000s. Johnny, known for his "real Texas country", succumbs to cancer on November 28, 2010.

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 SXSW 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. Janet 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 and Janet and for confirming that the band backing Johnny and Janet for the 1973 Sonobeat sessions is the Country Nu-Notes.

Johnny Lyon & Janet Lynn personnel

Bob Garrott: drums
Johnny Lyon: guitar and vocals
Janet Lynn: vocals
Paul McLaughlin: piano, fiddle, trumpet, and guitar
Phil Tucker: lead guitar
Jimmy Placker: 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 (date of photo unknown)
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