Lyn Barnett Profile

Chris Bourke
25 Jul 2017

Pop picking, as the saying goes, is a fast and furious business. Lyn Barnett’s career in New Zealand was brief but significant: in the early 1960s the Wellington teenager was one of the few female pop vocalists who recorded and had hits. She was a local star two years before Dinah Lee, but quickly disappeared from the New Zealand music scene.

Barnett’s discography is not lengthy: just five singles and an LP, all recorded in 1962 and 1963. By the time of her last single, she was just 17.

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Lyn - the only album by Lyn Barnett, was recorded in Wellington with Garth Young and his Orchestra in 1962. 
Tommy Adderley and Lyn Barnett, the Pines, Wellington, c1963
Photo credit: Garth Young collection
The Howard Morrison Spectacular '63 was another big-selling national tour in which the Howard Morrison Quartet was supported by acts such as Peter Posa, comedian John Daley, and "lovely teenage singing sensation" Lyn Barnett. - Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, Eph-C-CABOT-Music-1963-01
Lyn Barnett, 1974
Max Merritt And The Meteors with Lyn Barnett, probably in 1963 in Auckland's Domain.
Lyn Barnett, backed by Wellington's Premiers at the Oriental Ballroom, Auckland, 14 May 1964. The Premiers are, from left: Mike Shackleton, Peter Hindmarsh, Jimmy Ellyet, and Andy Shackleton (playing Jimmy Hill's drumkit). 
Photo credit: Rykenberg - Auckland Libraries Heritage Collections 1269-W0240-11
Lyn Barnett wows Wanganui, c1964
Photo credit: Grant Gillanders collection
Fresh from a royal command appearance, the Howard Morrison Quartet embarked on a national tour, supported by Bill and Boyd, and Wellington teenage pop singer Lyn Barnett. - Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, Eph-E-MUSIC-Popular-1963-01
Photo credit: Alexander Turnbull Library
Lyn Barnett with Auckland singer Tony Fisher, at the Pines, Wellington, c1963
Photo credit: Garth Young collection
The Meteors backing Lyn Barnett, venue unknown, 1964: Billy Kristian, Max Merritt and Pete Williams with Jimmy Hill out of frame
Lyn Barnett - The Happening
Lyn Barnett - Georgy Girl
Lyn Barnett, c1963
Lyn Barnett, backed by Wellington's Premiers at the Oriental Ballroom, Auckland, 14 May 1964. The Premiers are, from left: Mike Shackleton, Peter Hindmarsh, Jimmy Ellyet, and Andy Shackleton (playing Jimmy Hill's drumkit).
Photo credit: Rykenberg - Auckland Libraries Heritage Collections 1269-W0240-10
Lyn Barnett's final single 'What If Johnny Says No', a 1964 cover of a single by a Swedish pop group called The Kays, written by UK writer Rose Brennan as "Marello".
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