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Bobbie Gentry - Ode To Billie Joe

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Ode To Billie Joe

Bobbie Gentry

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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.
© Richie Unterberger /TiVo

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Ode To Billie Joe

Bobbie Gentry

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1
Mississippi Delta
00:03:10

Jimmie Haskell, Recording Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Kelly Gordon, Producer - Bobbie Gentry, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist

(C) 1967 Capitol Records Nashville This label copy information is the subject of copyright protection. All rights reserved. (C) 1967 EMI Records Ltd ℗ 2007 Capitol Records Nashville

2
I Saw An Angel Die
00:03:00

Jimmie Haskell, Recording Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Kelly Gordon, Producer - Bobbie Gentry, Composer, MainArtist

(C) 1967 Capitol Records Nashville This label copy information is the subject of copyright protection. All rights reserved. (C) 1967 EMI Records Ltd ℗ 2007 Capitol Records Nashville

3
Chickasaw County Child
00:02:49

Jimmie Haskell, Recording Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Kelly Gordon, Producer - Bobbie Gentry, Composer, MainArtist

(C) 1967 Capitol Records Nashville This label copy information is the subject of copyright protection. All rights reserved. (C) 1967 EMI Records Ltd ℗ 2007 Capitol Records Nashville

4
Sunday Best
00:02:46

Jimmie Haskell, Recording Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Kelly Gordon, Producer - Bobbie Gentry, Composer, MainArtist

(C) 1967 Capitol Records Nashville This label copy information is the subject of copyright protection. All rights reserved. (C) 1967 EMI Records Ltd ℗ 2007 Capitol Records Nashville

5
Niki Hoeky
00:02:47

Lolly Vegas, Composer - Pat Vegas, Composer - Jimmie Haskell, Recording Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Kelly Gordon, Producer - Bobbie Gentry, MainArtist - James Henry Ford, Composer

(C) 1967 Capitol Records Nashville This label copy information is the subject of copyright protection. All rights reserved. (C) 1967 EMI Records Ltd ℗ 1967 Capitol Records Nashville

6
Papa, Won't You Let Me Go To Town With You
00:02:36

Kelly Gordon, Producer - Bobbie Gentry, Composer, MainArtist

(C) 1967 Capitol Records Nashville This label copy information is the subject of copyright protection. All rights reserved. (C) 1967 EMI Records Ltd ℗ 1967 Capitol Records Nashville

7
Bugs
00:02:11

Jimmie Haskell, Recording Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Kelly Gordon, Producer - Bobbie Gentry, Composer, MainArtist

(C) 1967 Capitol Records Nashville This label copy information is the subject of copyright protection. All rights reserved. (C) 1967 EMI Records Ltd ℗ 1967 Capitol Records Nashville

8
Hurry, Tuesday Child
00:03:55

Jimmie Haskell, Recording Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Kelly Gordon, Producer - Bobbie Gentry, Composer, MainArtist

(C) 1967 Capitol Records Nashville This label copy information is the subject of copyright protection. All rights reserved. (C) 1967 EMI Records Ltd ℗ 2007 Capitol Records Nashville

9
Lazy Willie
00:02:43

Jimmie Haskell, Recording Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Kelly Gordon, Producer - Bobbie Gentry, Composer, MainArtist

(C) 1967 Capitol Records Nashville This label copy information is the subject of copyright protection. All rights reserved. (C) 1967 EMI Records Ltd ℗ 1967 Capitol Records Nashville

10
Ode To Billie Joe
00:04:15

Jimmie Haskell, Conductor, Recording Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Kelly Gordon, Producer - Joe Polito, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Bobbie Gentry, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist

(C) 1967 Capitol Records Nashville This label copy information is the subject of copyright protection. All rights reserved. (C) 1967 EMI Records Ltd ℗ 2007 Capitol Records Nashville, Courtesy of EMI Music Holland B.V.

Album Description

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.
© Richie Unterberger /TiVo

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