Bobbie Gentry is one of the great legends of 1960s popular music, an artist who debuted with an enigmatic, enduring smash hit who then cultivated an idiosyncratic country-pop crossover sound for a few years before retreating from the spotlight, never to be heard from again. That hit was "Ode to Billie Joe," a spare, elastic bit of storytelling that rocketed to number one after its release in 1967. So powerful and popular was "Ode to Billie Joe" that it spun off a film adaptation about a decade after its release, by which time Gentry's career was effectively over. She didn't manage a big pop hit after "Ode to Billie Joe," instead transitioning over to the country charts after her trippy psychedelic-Americana album The Delta Sweete failed to generate hits on either chart. Glen Campbell chose her as a duet partner for a spell in the late ...
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