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Old August 26th, 2017 #1
James Heimdal
Purveyor of Truth
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Dixie
Posts: 218
James Heimdal
Default Bobbie Gentry the singer-songwriter who knocked the Beatles out of Number One 50 years ago

In July of 1967, Capitol Records released "Ode to Billie Joe," a spooky wisp of a song by an unknown artist named Bobbie Gentry. Industry wisdom said "Ode" was too dark, too long, too different to get played on the radio.

It was a smash hit. With no special promotion, the song unexpectedly climbed up the charts past the Doors, Aretha Franklin and the Beatles, ultimately knocking "All You Need is Love" out of the Number One spot. By August, the mysterious tale of Billie Joe McAllister jumping off the Tallahatchie Bridge was ubiquitous, the inescapable sound of the darkening days of the so-called Summer of Love.

"That nice young preacher Brother Taylor dropped by today," Gentry sang. "Said he'd be pleased to have dinner on Sunday/Oh, by the way said he saw a girl that looked a lot like you up on Choctaw Ridge/And she and Billie Joe was throwin' something off the Tallahatchie Bridge."

Listeners wanted to knew two things: What did the song's narrator and Billie Joe McAllister throw off the Tallahatchie Bridge? And secondly, who the hell is Bobbie Gentry?

Fifty years later, neither question has been answered... More
BELOW: Bobbie Gentry, pioneering artist behind 'Ode to Billie Joe' and singer-songwriter who knocked the Beatles out of the Number One spot 50 years ago quietly revolutionized country music.


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