ARTIST: Bobbie Gentry
TITLE: I’ll Never Fall in Love Again: The Best of Bobbie Gentry
YEAR RELEASED: Compilation
CHART ACTION: None
SINGLES: Charting: Ode To Billy Joe (#1 US, #17 Country, #13 UK), Okolona River Bottom Band (#54 US), Touch ‘Em With Love (#113 US), I’ll Never Fall in Love Again (#1 UK), Fancy (#8 US, #26 Country), All I Have to Do Is Dream (#27 US, #6 Country, #3 UK), Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head (#40 UK)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: She covers Tobacco Road
LINEUP: Bobbie Gentry, sessioneers. Glen Campbell duets on “All I Have to Do Is Dream”
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Good overview for Gentry’s career except it misses a charting single for her (“Louisiana Man (#100 US, #72 US Country)
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Bobbie Gentry was a rarity in Nashville in the 60’s – a female writing most of her own songs and singing about themes such as women’s liberation and equality. Most of her songs were character sketches about what she observed while growing up in Mississippi.
“Ode to Billy Joe” is the one everyone remembers. It’s an iconic story song with an ambiguous ending. Her material, though, was oriented towards concept-type albums. She also was heavily involved in production as well, but wasn’t credited because of…reasons (her being a woman and all). The production was fairly sophisticated and varied, with horn charts and dynamic sounds.
From 1967 through 1971 she released six solo albums and a duet record with Glen Campbell. Then after a 1972 single, she stopped recording, but worked on TV and in Las Vegas. Then by 1980, after three marriages, she just disappeared. She’s still alive, living in Memphis, but is very reclusive. Her legacy is strong, though, and should be discovered by more than the nostalgic.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: She had a replacement series in 1974 called the The Bobbie Gentry Happiness Hour.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No, but there are bigger collections out there for advanced studies.
GRADE A-: Because she had such a short career, she’s usually forgotten except for “Ode to Billy Joe”. She shouldn’t be.