Chart Position: 1

  • #3 bestseller for 1967
  • #419 on Rolling Stone magazines list of  500 greatest songs
  • Won Best female vocal performance and Best new artist Grammy awards
  • Guitar: Bobbie Gentry
  • Produced by Kelly Gordon and Bobby Paris
  • Recorded in Los Angeles CA
  • This was originally the ‘B’ side to ‘Mississippi Delta’ but overtook that song in popularity
  • The original recording had eleven verses, but when executives realized the potential to be a single they cut the song in half to ensure radio airplay
  • The 1976 film Ode to Billy Joe is based on the narrative of this song
  • There was an marked increase in the number of jumpings off the real Tallahatchie Bridge in Money MS after this song’s success
  • The Tallahatchie Bridge collapsed in 1972
  • This is Bobbie Gentry’s only #1 single
  • Bobbie Gentry is from Chickasaw County MS
  • Bob Dylan wrote and recorded a parody of this song called ‘Clothes Line Saga’ (1967)
  • Later recorded by Margie Singleton (1967), Ferrante & Teicher (1967), Ray Bryant (1967), Marilyn Maye (1967), King Curtis & Kingpins (1967), Brook Benton (1967), Ventures (1968), Merl Saunders Trio (1968), Willis Jackson (1968), Dick Hyman and The Group (1968), Louie Bellson (1968), Racket Squad (1968), Jan Akkerman (1968), Lou Donaldson (1968), Roger Williams (1968), Nancy Wilson (1968), Jackie Wilson & Count Basie (1968), Booker T & M.G.s (1968), Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs (1968), Diana Ross and Supremes (1968), Billie Joe Spears (1968), Detroit Emeralds (1968), Joe Tex (1968), Africa (1968), Oscar Peterson (1969), Jimmy Smith (1970), Joe Sealy Trio (1970), Fifth Dimension (1971), Ellen McIlwaine (1972), Lenore (1973), Jimmy Dawkins Band (1976), Nashville West (1978), Henry Kaiser (1989), Jaco Pastorius (1991), Patricia Barber (1994), Sinead O’Connor (1995), Susan Voelz (1995), John Butler (1997), Lucky Peterson (1999), Amy Francis (2011) and many others

bobbie-gentry-ode-to-billie-joe

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