After touring around the South as a young soul singer and opening for the likes of James Brown and Ike & Tina Turner, Florida native Linda Lyndell met Otis Redding, who referred her to Stax Records. Here, she recorded two singles in 1968, “Bring Your Love Back to Me” and “What a Man,” the latter of which reached number 50 on Billboard’s pop charts. But when she subsequently began receiving death threats from both the Ku Klux Klan and members of the African-American community for being a white woman singing “black” music, Lyndell retired and lived in relative obscurity for the next 30 years. Her hit single was covered by Salt-N-Pepa and En Vogue in 1993 for their smash hip-hop version, “Whatta Man,” and Lyndell once again gained visibility. She performed in Memphis in 2003 during the grand opening ceremonies of the Stax Museum of American Soul Music on the same bill with Big Star and Mable John, and performed live at the Stax Museum in 2006.
Today, Linda Lyndell lives in Florida and, with her husband Alton Towles, operates their Gourds and Gophers landscaping firm and plant nursery, specializing in exotic plants and numerous breeds of orchids. She is also pursuing a revival of her musical career.