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Saturday, 27 July 2013

Bobbie Gentry born 27 July 1944

Bobbie Gentry (b. Roberta Lee Streeter in Chickasaw County, Mississippi on July 27, 1944) is an American singer-songwriter and remains one of the most interesting and underappreciated artists to emerge out of Nashville during the late '60s.

Bobbie Gentry Best-known for her crossover smash "Ode to Billie Joe," 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 Streeter in Chickasaw County, MS, on July 27, 1944; her parents divorced shortly after her birth and she was raised in poverty on her grandparents' farm. After her grandmother traded one of the family's milk cows for a neighbor's piano, seven-year-old Bobbie composed her first song, "My Dog Sergeant Is a Good Dog," years later self-deprecatingly reprised in her nightclub act; at 13, she moved to Arcadia, CA, to live with her mother, soon beginning her performing career in local country clubs. The 1952 film Ruby Gentry lent the singer her stage surname.

After graduating high school, Gentry settled in Las Vegas, where
she appeared in the Les Folies Bergère nightclub revue; she soon returned to California, studying philosophy at U.C.L.A. before transferring to the Los Angeles Conservatory of Music. In 1964, she made her recorded debut, cutting a pair of duets — "Ode to Love" and "Stranger in the Mirror" — with rockabilly singer Jody Reynolds. Gentry continued performing in clubs in the years to follow before an early 1967 recording a demo found its way to Capitol Records producer Kelly Gordon; upon signing to the label, she issued her debut single, "Mississippi Delta." However, disc jockeys began spinning the B-side, the self-penned "Ode to Billie Joe" struck a chord on country and pop radio alike, topping the pop charts for four weeks in August 1967 and selling three million copies. Although the follow-up, "I Saw an Angel Die," failed to chart, Gentry nevertheless won three Grammy awards, including Best New Artist and Best Female Vocal, also the Academy of Country Music's Best New Female Vocalist.


In 1968 Gentry issued a duet album with Glen Campbell, returning to the country Top 20 with "Let It Be Me"; the duo regularly collaborated throughout the 1970s.

In 1969, Gentry generated her first U.K. number one, a smoldering rendition of the Burt Bacharach/Hal David perennial "I'll Never
Fall in Love Again." The single's success also earned Gentry her own short-lived BBC television variety series.

Gentry's 1969 marriage to Desert Inn Hotel manager Bill Harrah ended after only three months, but the following year she returned to the county and pop Top 40 with the title cut from her fifth album Fancy. In 1971, she issued her final Capitol effort, Patchwork, primarily confining her performing to her nightclub act for the next several years. A CBS summer replacement series, The Bobbie Gentry Happiness Hour, aired for four episodes in 1974; Gentry next surfaced on the big screen, credited as co-writer for a 1976 film adaptation of Ode to Billie Joe.

 After a second marriage, to fellow singer/songwriter Jim Stafford, ended in 1979 after only 11 months, Gentry gradually receded from public view, retiring from performing and eventually settling in Los Angeles. She since has remarried, but the groom is not known at this time. (info mainly edited from AMG)


boppinbob said...

Go here for Ode to Bobbie Gentry

01 - Mississippi Delta
02 - Fancy
03 - Son Of A Preacher Man
04 - Ode To Billie Joe
05 - Touch 'Em With Love
06 - You've Made Me So Very Happy
07 - The Girl From Cincinatti
08 - In the Ghetto
09 - Hushabye Mountain
10 - I Wouldn't Be Surprised
11 - Apartment 21
12 - He Made A Woman Out Of Me
13 - Find Em, Fool Em, Forget About Em
14 - Skip Along Sam
15 - Show Off
16 - I'll Never Fall In Love Again
17 - Stormy
18 - Chickasaw County Child
19 - Big Boss Man
20 - Ace Insurance Man
21 - Reunion

zephyr said...

Thank you Bob I have grown to like Bobbie's style of singing a lot.Take care :)