Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The girl could bring it

Another birthday, another bridge to cross -- or jump from:  Bobbie Gentry turns 65 today.  Hard to believe it has been 43 years since "Ode to Billie Joe" rocketed to the top of the music charts.

It's just the sort of song we might have expected from a kid growing up in Chicksaw County, Mississippi. But who could have predicted the enduring popularity of the Southern Gothic tale or the never-ending interpretions and conspiracy theories regarding Billie Joe's leap off the Tallahatchie Bridge. 

It all began, we've learned, after little Roberta Lee Streeter's grandma traded one of the family cows for a piano, enabling the young'un to write her first song "My Dog Sergeant is a Good Dog." 

The girl who became Bobbie Gentry retired from performing more than 20 years ago, and we'd be fooling you if we didn't say we miss her. This is especially true every time we hear her version of  "I'll Never Fall in Love Again," which absolutely smokes.

For kicks and giggles, here is the 1967 Billboard Year End Chart:

1. To Sir With Love, Lulu
2. The Letter, Box Tops
3. Ode to Billie Joe, Bobbie Gentry
4. Windy, Association
5. I'm a Believer, Monkees
6. Light My Fire, Doors
7. Somethin' Stupid, Nancy Sinatra & Frank Sinatra
8. Happy Together, Turtles
9. Groovin', Young Rascals
10. Can't Take My Eyes Off You, Frankie Valli


  1. Smokey voice, swampy grooves - Bobby Gentry rules.

  2. I bet she still looks great, and can wale a tune or two yet.