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Sunday, April 21, 2019

The 50+ Year Old Mystery Behind Bobby Gentry and Her Song "Ode to Bille Joe"

I stumbled across this interesting article about one of the most enigmatic country/pop performers in American culture and that is Bobby Gentry. Bobby was best known for her haunting 1967 ballad about a young McAllister boy jumping off the Tallahatchie River Bridge. The song was so popular it remained at the number one pop slot for over four weeks. It even knocked the Beatles song All you need is love from that position. She dabbled with music  and modeling. She worked with some huge names in entertainment, doing shows in Vegas, etc. She was friends with Bob Hope, Elvis, Bob Dylan, etc. and married comedian singer Jim Stafford. For most of her life she has lived as a recluse. We all know the song that made it her famous. There is a Tallahtchie River Bridge, Choctaw Ridge, and Carroll County Mississippi, but will we ever know the real Bobby Gentry and the story behind the song? Probably not. Here is the link to the story I found (Click Here) . More here and Here. Personally, I do not even associate the song or Bobbie Gentry with the flop 1976 movie by the same name starring Robbie Benson as a confused homosexual who committed suicide by taking the leap.


UPDATE: I am adding this other link sent in by reader Anonymous. It is very long, but a very good piece. Click to read from Cocaine and Rhinestones: Bobby Gentry 




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10 comments:

  1. I always thought she was gorgeous.....

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  2. It was the third of June, another sleepy dusty delta day!

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  3. Irish Times article describes Ayn Rand's writing as "repugnant"???

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  4. Some interesting info via this podcast series on Bobby Gentry - https://cocaineandrhinestones.com/tag/bobbie-gentry

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  5. Not only was she a classic beauty, but had a head on those shoulders that produced great music. She was a bloody good singer/song-writer, if you look for clips on Youtube you'll see a top live recording from a BBC show, and great dancing on them long legs too at Vegas.

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    1. That is right Jono. She also invested her money wisely in some real estate deals that paid off big time and was the owner of the Phoenix Suns from 1969 till ??.

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    2. I didn't get to watch the vid until long after posting my comment (slow 'net), but I think that there is a similar BBC video that the Poms must have done as a backup. Jeannie C. Riley had a voice that conveyed much too, but not the touch that Bobby Gentry had (has?).

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  6. thanks for this, a great song and finding out some detail was interesting.

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