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Bobby Gentry Ode To Billie Joe (LP, 180g Vinyl, Ltd.)

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Bobbie Gentry's first album from 1967 is a masterpiece, simple as that. An album full of...more

Bobby Gentry: Ode To Billie Joe (LP, 180g Vinyl, Ltd.)

Bobbie Gentry's first album from 1967 is a masterpiece, simple as that. An album full of beguilingly beautiful songs - all but one written by Gentry himself. The album is a simple, straightforward collection of gems, performed in a smoky voice, mostly with the simplest of guitar accompaniment, but with inventive, almost psychedelic twists in every track. This album is similar in style and feel to Rodriguez's impressive 'Cold Fact', which came out three years later. Comparing the albums, one gets the impression that the later album might have been inspired by Gentry's 'Ode To Billy Joe'". It can also easily be compared to Dusty Springfield's 'In Memphis' for its sheer intimacy as well as the soul feeling and is in the same league in terms of musicianship.
After this first album Gentry switched to a more commercial track, which makes 'Ode To Billy Joe' an important and outstanding album. It is hereby warmly recommended, especially as it has now been remastered by Sean Magee at Abbey Road Studios.

Press:
'She had it all: beauty, education, the talent to write gripping songs, and a voice that got deep under your skin.' (Rolling Stone, 10 / 2010)

Article properties:Bobby Gentry: Ode To Billie Joe (LP, 180g Vinyl, Ltd.)

  • Interpret: Bobby Gentry

  • Album titlle: Ode To Billie Joe (LP, 180g Vinyl, Ltd.)

  • Genre Country

  • Geschwindigkeit 33 U/min
  • Vinyl record size LP (12 Inch)
  • Record Grading Mint (M)
  • Sleeve Grading Mint (M)
  • Artikelart LP

  • Label Elemental Music

  • EAN: 0600753959381

  • weight in Kg 0.26
Gentry, Bobbie - Ode To Billie Joe (LP, 180g Vinyl, Ltd.) LP 1
01Mississippi deltaBobby Gentry
02I saw an angel dieBobby Gentry
03Chickasaw county childBobby Gentry
04Sunday bestBobby Gentry
05Niki hoekyBobby Gentry
06Papa, woncha let me go to town with youBobby Gentry
07BugsBobby Gentry
08Hurry tuesday childBobby Gentry
09Lazy willieBobby Gentry
10Ode to billie joeBobby Gentry
Bobbie Gentry Ode To Billie Joe (Bobbie Gentry) purchase date: March 13, 1967 overdub... more
"Bobby Gentry"

Bobbie Gentry

Ode To Billie Joe

(Bobbie Gentry)

purchase date: March 13, 1967

overdub session May 24, 1967; Producer: Jimmie Haskell; probable musicians on the overdub session: Jimmie Haskell, leader; Jesse Ehrlich, Joseph Saxon: cello; Bill Kurasch, Lenny Malarsky, Ralph Schaeffer, Sid Sharp: violins

Cap 5950

master 57529

 

Roberta Streeter grew up on her grandparents' farm in Chickasaw County, Mississippi, but moved to California to be with her mother when she was thirteen, so her Mississippi was one of memory and imagination. She first recorded in 1963 with rockabilly singer Jody Reynolds. Several years later, her nightclub act was heard by TV host Jim McKrell, who took her demo tape to music publisher Larry Shayne. In February,

1967, Shayne found a taker: newly-hired Kelly Gordon at Capitol Records. It seems likely that Gordon purchased the vocal-guitar demo of Billie Joe from Shayne and scheduled a session in April to record Mississippi Delta. By this point, Streeter had renamed herself Bobbie Gentry after the movie Ruby Gentry. Originally seven minutes long, Billie Joe was edited down and overdubbed by arranger Jimmie Haskell on May 24 for release on July 10 (Shayne's sheet music used the masculine spelling Billy Joe, while the record used the feminine Billie with the masculine Joe). With Mississippi Delta, as the planned A-side, Gordon asked Haskell to do a quick overdub on Billie Joe. "Put some strings on it so we won't be embarrassed," he said. "No one will ever hear it." Haskell's arrangement for two cellos and four violins perfectly complemented the song's smouldering intensity. "I made the bass line do the minimum amount of notes I could write for a cello bass and still have it sound interesting," he told Holly George Warren. "Five notes every four bars, played pizzicato. The other cello was played with a bow. I was experimenting because I'd been told no one would ever hear it." Like Creedence Clearwater Revival's Proud Mary, Ode To Billie Joe was delightfully at odds with the hippie era jangle. Gentry skillfully juxtaposed tragedy against the banality of everyday life, and left the enigma intact, accomplishing with a song what Flannery O’Connor accomplished with short stories. "The story of Billie Joe has two underlying themes," she said. "First, the illustration of a group of people's reactions to the life and death of Billie Joe, and its subsequent effect on their lives.

Second, the obvious gap between the girl and her mother is shown when both women experience a common loss (first, Billie Joe and, later, Papa), and yet Mama and the girl are unable to recognize their mutual loss or share their grief." Equally, the song could have been a comment on country people's indifference to accidents and disasters because tragedy is more a part of everyday life. When a movie was made of the song, scriptwriter Herman Raucher went to see Gentry who told him that she had no idea why Billie Joe jumped off the bridge. Raucher decided that Billie Joe killed himself after a drunken gay episode; that's Hollywood for you. The Tallahatchie Bridge later fell down; that's Mississippi for you. Gentry's record was an all-market sweep, reaching #1 on the pop chart, #17 on the country chart (eclipsing Margie Singleton's cover version), and #8 on the R&B chart (almost eclipsing King Curtis's R&B instrumental version). It won three Grammies. In 1973, Gentry donated the original draft of her song to the University of Mississippi. Eight years later, she dropped out of sight. There have been sightings in Georgia and Los Angeles, but no comeback.

- Colin Escott -

Various Country & Western Hit Parade 1967

Read more at: https://www.bear-family.de/various-country-und-western-hit-parade-1967.html
Copyright © Bear Family Records

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