Bobbie Gentry, where are you now? – Secret history podcast
June 3 is unofficially Bobbie Gentry Day, as it is the day the singer’s most famous character jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge in the hit “Ode to Billie Joe”. Fifteen years later, Gentry herself will leap into obscurity … but why?
This week’s episode of Secret Country music history podcast explores Gentry’s sudden disappearance after the 1982 ACM Awards and looks back on attempts to join her in recent years. To understand why she left – or at the very least, to theorize about it – you have to understand her upbringing and reluctance to be a nationwide superstar. Gentry (née Roberta Lee Streeter) had dreams of songwriting, but her impressive musicality and mastery of the stage led her to an inevitable career as an artist.
Listen to Taste of Country’s Adison Haager and Billy Dukes explore why she quit so suddenly and where she lives today. Gentry has influenced the careers of dozens of pop, hip-hop, and country artists, including Rosanne Cash, Emmylou Harris, and Kacey Musgraves. Reba McEntire is a huge fan, but although she did Gentry’s country hit “Fancy”, she never met her.
Has she tried? It’s an interesting story that is best told by her. Important sources for this episode include articles in the Washington post, the Guardian, Medium and Highway Queens, as well as season 1 of Cocaine and rhinestones Podcast.
Season 1 of the Country Music Secret History Podcast is an extension of the popular video series of the same name and is part of the Townsquare Media podcast network. Check for new episodes every Monday.
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