Ode To Billie Joe
Label: Emi Catalogue
Buoyed by the success of the single "Ode to Billie Joe," Bobbie Gentry cut this 1967 debut, a theme album based on her childhood recollections of poverty-stricken Chickasaw County, Mississippi. It went to No. 1 on the pop charts (and No. 5 on the R&B charts) and illustrates what a special vocalist and songwriter Gentry was. "Hurry, Tuesday Child" and "I Saw an Angel Die" are enhanced by almost psychedelic Hollywood arrangements, while "Bugs" has to be one of the weirdest songs ever. If the hard-rocking "Mississippi Delta" had been a hit, Gentry may have had a different career.