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Ode to Billie Joe

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Album Review

Gentry's debut LP, which went to number one on the pop charts, was a promising but not wholly satisfying disc, with the singer penning all but one of the songs. Inevitably, the title track dwarfed everything else by comparison, but a greater problem was that several of the other tunes recycled variations of the "Ode to Billie Joe" riff. On the other hand, "Mississippi Delta" is gloriously tough, throaty swamp rock; few other women pop singers have sounded as raw. Other good cuts were "I Saw an Angel Die," an effective mating of Gentry's country-blues guitar riffs and low-key orchestration, and the jazz waltz-timed "Papa, Woncha Let Me Go to Town With You." Her vocals are poised and husky throughout the record, on which she was definitely on the right track — one that she was quickly diverted from, into more MOR-oriented sounds.

Customer Reviews

Raw Talent

Nothing short of Amazing

Classic!!

Still as great as it was when I first heard it 46 years ago.

Some Southern Delta Blues

Nothing like it in 1967 nothing like it now. This is raw southern music that will touch your soul. Delta Sweete is my favorite album by her.

Biography

Born: July 27, 1944 in Chickasaw County, MS

Genre: Country

Years Active: '60s, '70s

Bobbie Gentry remains one of the most interesting and underappreciated artists to emerge out of Nashville during the late '60s. Best-known for her crossover smash "Ode to Billie Joe," she was one of the first female country artists to write and produce much of her own material, forging an idiosyncratic, pop-inspired sound that, in tandem with her glamorous, bombshell image, anticipated the rise of latter-day superstars like Shania Twain and Faith Hill. Of Portuguese descent, Gentry was born Roberta...
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Ode to Billie Joe, Bobbie Gentry
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