Thursday, August 11, 2016

The 2015/1967 Countdown - 08/11/2016 Update

Today, we turn to our 1967 singer-songwriter mix The Calm Before The Calm, and one of 1967's biggest and most surprising hits, country artist Bobbie Gentry's Ode To Billie Joe.

One of the first female country artists to write and produce her own material, Gentry's Ode To Bille Joe was actually the B-side to her first self-recorded single, but its skelatally spare, grounded sound, and its mysterious Southern gothic narrative centered on a secret romance / lover's suicide and the relative indifference of a community quickly captured the public's attention in a music year dominated by crazed psychedelic experimentation. 

The song would go on to be the number 3 charting track of 1967, win multiple Grammys, and launch Gentry into a very lucrative fourteen-year career as recording artist, British television host, and Vegas entertainer before her retirement from the industry in 1981.

Here's a televised performance of the song from the Smothers Brothers show.

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