Bobbie Gentry The Girl From Chickasaw County
Bobbie is notable as one of the first female country artists to compose and produce her own material. During her five-year tenure at Capitol, she penned at least two songs that have become certified classics, ‘Ode to Billie Joe’ and ‘Fancy’, among dozens of original compositions.
Bobbie released eight Capitol albums in total, heralded by the smash hit debut ‘Ode to Billie Joe’ (Which displaced Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely-Hearts Club Band from the top of the charts in the US). Delta Sweete, her third, is another highlight. MOJO magazine listed it in their top 500 greatest albums of all time and memorably described her as the ‘JD Salinger of rock n roll.’
Bobbie also teamed up with Glen Campbell later that year (1968) for album of duets that earned her another gold record and spawned three hit singles, including a cover of the Everly Brothers’ hit ‘All I Have to Do Is Dream’, which rose to No. 3 on the U.K. and No. 27 on the Billboard Hot 100. The pair also toured briefly together and performed on a number of American and British television programs and specials.
Bobbie enjoyed four UK hits, with ‘I’ll Never Fall in Love Again’ topping the charts in 1969. In the USA, she notched 11 hits and was nominated for a Grammy for album Fancy, which was largely produced by Rick Hall in Muscle Shoals
Bobbie had her own BBC show for 3 seasons, hosting the programmes, performing her own material and introducing guests such as Elton John, James Taylor and, Donovan. She also headlined her nightclub in Vegas.
She quit the scene over 40 years ago (1978), and unlike everyone who returns, she has stayed out of sight. She remains one of the few genuine mysteries of popular music. Because she was so popular (No.1 singles/Albums, BBC TV series, Vegas residency) her abilities as a writer, producer and arranger were too often overlooked, she paved the way for Joni Mitchell and Carly Simon. Bobbie’s songs continue to influence a new generation of artists like Cheryl Crow, Beth Orton, Lucinda Williams and Roseanne Cash all of whom have cited her as an influence and covered her songs.
In 2018 UMC released Capitol years boxset consisted of 8CDs, this is the first ever large-scale retrospective containing the first UK reissues of her albums in their entirety – supplemented by 76 previously unreleased demos, outtakes and alternate takes from all Bobbie’s Capitol albums. Included are beautiful acoustic demos of songs like Refractions, Courtyard and Seasons Come Seasons Go, alternate takes of Sunday Best, Sweet Peony and Benjamin, and previously unheard originals like Morning to Midnight, and Joanne. In addition, Bobbie recorded some great cover versions that never saw the light of day including Conspiracy of Homer Jones by Dallas Frazier, Spinning Wheel by Blood Sweat and Tears, Salome Smith and her amazing dancing bear by Randy Newman, and blues songs like Seventh Son by Willie Dixon. One of the selling points of the set is a previously unreleased album of jazz cover versions including intimate mostly acoustic interpretations of songs including Irving Berlin’s Suppertime, Billie Holidays God Bless the Child (play from start) and Since I Fell for You by Buddy Johnson. This change of direction was abandoned in favour of the blue-eyed soul of the Touch em With Love LP, making these recordings a unique document of Bobbie as we have never heard her before. Also included are selections from Bobbie’s three BBC tv series including live versions of her well-known tracks Ode to Billie Joe and Mississippi Delta as well as songs Bobbie never recorded in the studio like The Beatles’ Mother Nature’s Son and Harry Nilsson’ Open your Window. All the audio has been mastered from the original tapes. These to include many rare and never before seen images of Bobbie, images from photo shoots, out takes, performing and touring. These releases will feature an exclusive illustration provided by fashion illustrator David Downton.
The 2LP are cut down versions of the boxset and feature a selection of the unreleased bonus material from the 8CD package, including an alternate take of Sunday Best, demo of Hurry, Tuesday Child, Mississippi Delta alternate version and many more. The LP will have a 12”12” insert with a selection of images used in the boxset and sleeve notes.
LP 1 - SIDE A
- Ode to Billie Joe
- Chickasaw County Child
- Hurry, Tuesday Child [demo]
- Sunday Best [alternate take]
- Mississippi Delta [alternate version]
- Okolona River Bottom Band
LP 1 - SIDE B
- Mornin' Glory
- Sweete Peony [alternate Version]
- Casket Vignette
- Sittin’ Pretty
- Hushabye Mountain
- Conspiracy of Homer Jones
- Sunday Mornin' [alternate version]
- Let It Be Me (duet with Glen Campbell) [without strings]
LP 2 - SIDE C
- God Bless The Child
- This Girl’s In Love With You
- Touch 'Em with Love [stereo version]
- Seasons Come, Seasons Go [demo]
- Glory Hallelujah, How They'll Sing [alternate take]
- He Made A Woman Out of Me
- Circle ‘Round the Sun
LP 2 - SIDE D
- Apartment 21 [Stereo version]
- But I Can't Get Back
- Lookin' In
- The Girl from Cincinnati