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About The Artist
She was born in Roaring Springs, Pennsylvania. Later on, her family moved to Claysburg where she later graduated from Claysburg-Kimmel High School. She grew up in a musical family. Her father, Charles (Duggie) Potter was a professional pianist and organist. She began singing at an early age with her father. Mr. Potter also played the piano on Lynn's first album on the B-W label.
She married Jimmy Stewart who was also a bit of a musician. In a 1972 interview for the Richmond (VA) Times-Dispatch, she noted that her husband used to play in a rock band, but after they were married, she fixed that aspect.
With her husband, they formed her band, The Country Showmen which also included Ken Boswell. In 1968, she and her band moved to Richmond, Virgnia where things began to happen.
In 1969, she was named the top female vocalist in the Virginia Folk Music Association's (VFMA) state competitions. She was also the VFMA's "Country Music Queen" in 1971. That 1971 competition involved some 600 musicians who participated in the statewid competition that ended on October 5, 1971 in Crewe where an audience of over 3,000 fans took in the event. She won first place for female vocalist, while her band, the Country Showmen, took second place in the band competition. That same day, Ken Boswell, the steel guitarist for the Country Showmen, won the state championship for steel guitar. She also joined the legendary WWVA Jamboree in 1971.
A 1972 article notes that her personal appearances took her to engagements from Maine to Florida and was also signed for an appearance in Naples, Italy. Back then, Lynn and the Country Showmen were appearaing at Howard's on Petersburg Pike on Wednesday nights.
She also owned a western clothing store back then.
Her five year-old daughter, Lori Anne, would occasionally appear on stage with her mom, but Lynn notes that her daughter's taste in music was a bit influenced by their baby-sitter, who was not into country music.
Her first recording was with the B-W record label. Lynn wrote the lyrics and Jimmy provided the music for her first tune, "Gone Fishin'" which was considered a novelty tune about the 'hazards' of fishing and was quite popular with the WWVA Jamboree listening audience.
In 1974, she released an album called "Honey" on the MRC label based in Waynesboro, Virginia. In a 1974 interview, she indicated proudly that her band, the Country Showmen, backed her on the album, even though she probably could have had other Nashville musicians, but she was adamant about using her own band. Sshe considered the album akin to being an all-request list of songs that her audiences would often request. She included tunes such as "Honey", Take Me Home (Country Roads)", "Paper Roses" and "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry", the latter two suggested by her steel player Ken Boswell who felt she had a real country feel to those tunes.
Her band was quite talented back then. It included Robbie Hajacos on fiddle, who started with her when he was just 14 years old and later went on to be a great Nashville studio musician. Ken Boswell was on steel guitar and had been with her for seven years by then. Andy Washington played the bass. Bob Wilcox was on rhythm guitar. And doing backup vocals were Elaine Gettings and Bobby Carnes. Her husband, Jimmy Stewart played guitar.
Her daughter Lori Anne got to stay up past her bedtime when her mom did that MRC album. She liked it so much, she made mom give her a copy that she could take to school the next day and tell her classmates.
Lynn and the Country Showmen were regulars on the WWVA Jamboree for over 15 years. Her booking agent for several years was Kenny Biggs, also of WWVA. She performed several times at the WWVA Jamboree Reunion Shows in recent years.
She shared the stage with such artists as Loretta Lynn, Ronnie Milsap, Charley Pride, Merle Haggard, Conway Twitty, Barbara Mandrell, the Oak Ridge Boys and Johnny Cash.
She appeared at the famous "Jamboree In The Hills" shows with such stars as Tom T. Hall and Asleep at the Wheel.
Another member of her band at one time also went on to Nashville to make her mark in country music - Margo Smith.
Lynn's first husband, Jimmy died in 1996. She remarried in 2004 and has one daughter, Lori Anne and a step daughter and five grandchildren.
Credits & Sources