Gene Lynn was drawn into a singing career as a young kid of 12 years old in Mobile, Alabama, hanging around the Harlem Club on Highway 45. Growing up, he began listening to legends-to-be like Ray Charles, BB King, John Lee Hooker, and James Brown. Gene decided at a very young age the kind of music he wanted to adapt to. He started listening to Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Nat King Cole, and Billy Eckstine. He wanted to learn from these great stylists to combine the sounds of the Blues and the Standards in a way that would take him, and the music, to a different and wider audience. As he developed his own style and career, he often became known as “the black Frank Sinatra”, but he’d prefer simply to be known as the people’s singer and entertainer.
He started his singing career in St. Louis, Missouri, working many of the upscale clubs, particularly those of Gaslight Square in the early days.
In 1969, he hosted a 1/2 hour Sunday night TV show, “The Gene Lynn Show”, on St. Louis’ Channel 30, sponsored by the Teamster Five Pact Labor Alliance.
At about this same time, Gene decided to open his own nightclub and restaurant in St. Louis and stop traveling. In June 1971, “Gene Lynn’s” became a reality, and it developed into “the” spot for not only St. Louis locals, but for people from all over stopping through. Legends like Nancy Wilson, Joe Williams, O.C. Smith, and Lou Rawls stopped in. Many of St. Louis’ local lawyers, judges, doctors, and politicians were known to frequent the club, but it always had an atmosphere that welcomed anyone, where no one felt out of place. Gene owned and operated “Gene Lynn’s” for 34 years, located for many years in the Central West End at 322 N. Whittier, then moving for a few years in the 1980’s to a downtown location in the Lenox Hotel at 9th St. and Washington Ave. (see below),
and finally back into a mall area in the Central West End again at Sarah and Lindell Blvd. near the original location. Today, Gene can be found working private engagements, restaurants, and clubs around the St. Louis area.
It would take a lifetime for Gene to tell about all of the wonderful life experiences he's had along the way. As he always says..."you'll have to read the book" (but don't panic, the names will be changed to protect the guilty!). In the meantime, stop by and hear Gene at one of his upcoming dates and let him entertain you.
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