Talk:Bobbie Gentry

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Does anyone know the whereabouts of Bobbie gentry now and what she's doing?

Other versions[edit]

Other versions say that her parents split up soon after she was born and that she then lived on her grandparents' farm. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 10:59, 5 March 2007 (UTC).

Gee, I had no idea "Fancy" was autobiographical[edit]

The following statement was removed from the section about Gentry's 1970 album Fancy and the song "Fancy" because it's untrue, absurd, and would be potentially libelous if Gentry were not a public figure, and thus fair game for discussion:

The song ["Fancy"] told an unapologetic rags-to-riches story without regrets that mirrored her own career [italics mine].

"Fancy" is about a poor mother who pimps her 16-year-old daughter, who later becomes a high-priced call girl. C'mon, that seems like a bit of a stretch: the only parallels between this song and Bobbie Gentry's life is her rural roots and later success in "the big city". But anything beyond that suggests that Gentry turned tricks near the Tallahatchie Bridge — and I ain't buyin' it (the assertion, that is). Kinkyturnip (talk) 18:19, 16 May 2008 (UTC)

Folks, come on. Many people thought Ode to Billy Joe was autobiographical. Having known her since 1970, I can tell you that neither song was anything more than fiction. You want some autobiographical, listen to "Lookin In", especially the last line. Bobbie Lee was abandoned by her father when she was 6 months old. Her mother left her with her grandparents when she was young and moved to various places looking for work. She had NO brothers or sisters, and so "Brother married Becky Thompson and bought a store in Tupelo" (Ode) and "Welfare people came and took the baby" (Fancy) is just that, fictional stories. She is alive and well in Southern California. She disappeared from the music scene for several reasons, none of which had to do with "popularity", having worked with her in Vegas, she was offered, and refused a multi-million dollar contract extension because, I am proud to say, her show was constantly sold out and rated as the best female performer in Vegas, and, she controlled it, not the "men folk" at Capital. It was betrayals and a son that made her leave, nothing else. Just because Reba did a music video interpreting a song written 20+ years earlier doesn't make it true. (talk) 02:04, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

The legends that get published here on this talk page are already noteworthy as legends in it's own right, but can't any of you folks telling your stories here put a source to it or publish them and then link them? I mean, the stories are great, but it is extremely difficult to write an encyclopedia based on the word of mouth. --Erikupoeg (talk) 08:50, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

Edits of July 2008[edit]

I did some heavy work on the whole article, really just aiming at proportion -- what was here was actually some worthwhile music criticism (though very POV), but not well-sourced, and in sum, not really conveying the central picture: an exceptionally talented artist whose later career, iin commercial terms, didn't match the early success. Anything that was controversial and linked to [1] had to go; the level of detail was excessive, and the critical/descriptive claims just weren't sourced, amounting to problems both of verifiability and of balance. Some notes of Gentry's influence have been retained, though sourcing would be good. DavidOaks (talk) 02:58, 16 July 2008 (UTC)

What's wrong with AllMusicGuide as a source? And you might wanna learn some manners and give other contributors a chance to comment on such an amount of deletion before you execute it. Erikupoeg (talk) 09:24, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
"Vandalism"? Please take your own advice on the "manners" thing; I'm following the WP:Be Bold policy. Nothing wrong with allmusic as a source, and it was retained in a number of spots. There IS a problem with the link provided for "Bobbie Gentry" -- it goes to the front page of the AMG, not to anything about the singer. That should be fixable.* What wasn't retained was the disproportionate amount of discussion of minor recordings. Let's talk about what you think is truly essential to be restored. DavidOaks (talk) 15:44, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
  • Yes, it was fixable -- but it led to an awful lot of very distinctive phrasing in the previous version that was identical to Jason Ankeny's -- i.e., copyvio. Any portions of the material that's been edited out that we decide to restore will have to be be scanned carefully for that -- accurate and consistent use of quotation marks, with clear attribution. DavidOaks (talk) 16:36, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
You call records, that have been re-issued forty years after their initial release and earned themselves separate articles in AllMusicGuide, 'minor records'!!!!Erikupoeg (talk) 17:05, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
Yes -- if they are given track-by-track discussion, the way we'd do for the Beatles, we fall on the wrong side of the balance principle -- we lose the central fact of her career, that the early promise didn't result in continued commercial success, though there was significant output. That fact is conveyed by the discography, which is entirely appropriate. DavidOaks (talk) 17:21, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
Alright, I don't see this discussion going anywhere, because none of us are yielding at all, so don't mind me being bold and 'deep editing' your deep editing. Erikupoeg (talk) 06:52, 17 July 2008 (UTC)
Absolutely! Just use edit summaries and the talk page to explain the decisions you're making, as I've cosistently done. All I was trying to do was restore a balance to the overall account of her career, and was in accordance with Wikipedia:WikiProject Laundromat, and I feel strongly we should keep that in mind -- can we agree on that? DavidOaks (talk) 12:21, 17 July 2008 (UTC)

Son Of A Preacher Man[edit]

Bobbie Preacher seems to have recorded a version of this Dusty Springfield song and I wanted to add it to the article, but I'm not sure where it would fit in, as it was on her Touch 'Em With Love album (which doesn't have its own article and is sparsely mentioned). The article of the song mentions Gentry's name and gives a source [2]. I think it's worthy of inclusion as it's a well known song, just don't know where to place it! londonsista | Prod 15:17, 7 August 2008 (UTC)

Perhaps you want to use the material from Touch'Em With Love section in the old version of the article. Erikupoeg (talk) 08:56, 8 August 2008 (UTC)

Setting The Record[edit]

I noticed some errors on Bobbie's home page. First of all, her last television performance was in May of 1980 on an NBC Mothers Day Special. She performed the Broadway song ' Mama A Rainbow'. She also presented at the 1980 Academy Of Country Music Awards show. She was never dropped by Capitol Records. They offered her a second tier contact in 1973 which she refused. That same year she had just signed a seven figure Vegas deal at ' The Dessert Inn'. She was actually working on a new Capitol album in 1973 when she left the label. The home page also omitted her hit single ' Oklahona River Bottom Band' which went #56 pop in 1968. Her 1970 album ' Fancy' was a hit at #96 pop. Dusty Springfields album ' Dusty In Memphis' peaked in the 90's too. This was quite respectable for a female solo artist of this era. While she never matched the debut success of ' Ode to Billie Joe', she did not "lose her popularity" in the late 1970's. She still commanded big bucks for her popular Las Vegas act. She retired in 1980 ,a single, divorced mother of a one year old child. She retired on her own terms. She had amassed huge holdings which had included a piece of The Suns basketball team, a production and publishing company and large real estate holdings in California. Time has been kind to Bobbie Gentry with a serious re-evaluation of her place in music history. As of 2009, her entire Capitol catalog is back in print and selling well worldwide. 'Fancy' has become a classic, appearing on five Reba McEntire cd's with over ten million units sold . Her royalities of this song are now in the millions. 'Ode to Billie Joe' was the #3 single of 1967( Billboard) and the #1 song of the 1967 with five cover singles charting. Future rock&roll hall of fame artist King Curtis took his instrumental version to #26 pop and #5 r&b selling 750,000 singles. Over 200 covers of this classic have now been published. Bobbie Gentry's compostion ' Mornin Glory' has been covered by several jazz artists as well. Sherll Crow, Beth Ortin, RoseAnne Cash, and Lucinda Willams list her as a major influence of their own musical voices. Her legacy continues to grow inspiring many gifted artists. (Skytorch Jan. 2009) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Skytorch (talkcontribs) 12:07, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

Seems like a lot of valuable information you got. You should put it right into the article with appropriate references. Please re-build the "Legacy" section based on the latter half of your message here. If there's anything you feel uncomfortable with editing the article, just go on and ask. --Erikupoeg (talk) 12:32, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

'The Power of PatchWork'[edit]

Bobbie Gentry's final album effort for Capitol was a masterpiece titled' PatchWork' She wrote and produced the entire effort even writing masterful musical interludes that tied the songs together. The sessions showed her command of all forms of song. From 1920's pop to country and blues, the range was breathtaking. Capitol gave the go ahead based on her banner year of 1970 which saw two big hits in the U.K and the four month run on the U.S pop singles chart of ' Fancy' Released in 1971, it hovered in the 200's on the pop album charts failing to make it on the offical chart. By all accounts, it damaged her relationship with Capitol Records. From 1967-71 Bobbie had earned a top tier 3.5 million from the label. It became public record when musican Bobby Paris sued her for 1% of her royalities based on a verbal agreement. The court agreed and Bobbie was forced to pay him 35,000 dollars. The boys club at Capitol were not happy at the amount of control she had on the PatchWork project. It directly challenged some of their positions and this resulted in lackluster promotion from the label. She would later comment" a woman had little chance in a recording studio" Her last single for Capitol was a cover called ' The Girl from Cinncinnati' While it garnered airplay , and modest sales ,it failed to hit the pop singles charts. A frustrated Bobbie soon poured her creative efforts into a lavish Vegas production which saw the top casinos give her complete artistic control of her review. Because of her ability to earn millions outside of recording, she was in a strong position to refuse the watered down contract Capitol offered in 1973.Her business savy became evident again in 1975 when she signed a lucrative contract with Warner Brothers for the film rights of ' Ode to Billie Joe' Her percentage deal of the 1976 films 70 million world wide gross made her more millions as she was rewarded for her wide range of control of the films concept, vision and her relentless promotion of the project. Skytorch..... —Preceding unsigned comment added by Skytorch (talkcontribs) 07:12, 29 January 2009 (UTC)

This keeps sounding good, but I don't see why you keep it on the talk page and don't add any reference? --Erikupoeg (talk) 08:23, 29 January 2009 (UTC)

The Awards Received[edit]

The awards Bobbie Gentry received in her career were many and varied. There were gold records awarded in the U.S(3), U.K(4) Australia(3),Ireland(2). Bobbie received 10 grammy nominations, winning three, including top female vocal 1967(beating among others Aretha Franklins 'Respect') She won two Academy Of Country Music awards out of five nominations( top new female 1967 and album of the year 'Bobbie Gentry&Glen Campbell' 1968. She won a Brit Music award for ' I'll Never Fall In Love Again' in 1970. She won the Italian Press Award in 1968 for' Le Seipe' She won the Grammy Hall of Fame Award for Ode to Billie Joe in 1999.There were also awards for her Vegas review and numerous billboard and other magazine awards. Billboard noted in 2003 that 'Ode to Billie Joe' was the top female single in the history of Capitol Records . It also ranked #10 on their all time hit list.note to Erikupoeg... I'm just not comfortable editing the home page. I hope someone edits the obvious errors like omitting the birth of her son (Tyler Stafford) from her brief marriage to Jim Stafford. I'm still new to the web but learning as fast as I can. (Skytorch Jan 2009) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Skytorch (talkcontribs) 06:40, 1 February 2009 (UTC)

We can't add or delete anything without you providing reference for it first. By the way, sign by adding four tildes (~) to the end of your your comments. --Erikupoeg (talk) 08:31, 1 February 2009 (UTC)

Inception of the CMA's[edit]

A great story told to me by an a&r man who use to work at Capitol Records was the the drama of the debut of the cma's( country music association). The first sponsor of its television debut was NBC. The network demanded hybrid artists with cross-over appeal to host the show, feeling a pure country show would be too cornball for their audience. Bobbie Gentry( who was nominated for single and album of the year) and Sonny James were chosen. NBC got cold feet at the last minute anyway and pulled the plug on televising the event. Executives at Captiol Records wanted their newest superstar, Bobbie Gentry, to bow out too,without this added exposure . To their credit, both Sonny James and Bobbie Gentry co-hosted the event anyway and helped save face for the fledgling cma's. In 1968, it would get televised for the first time as a Kraft Music Hall special with Roy Rogers and Dale Evans co-hosting. Only audio tape exists of the 1967 debut. Skytorch Jan. 2009]]]] —Preceding unsigned comment added by Skytorch (talkcontribs) 01:52, 2 February 2009 (UTC)

As rare exceptions, oral messages can be used as reference but we'd still need his name and exact position cited. For the other facts you've presented, please provide reference. And please sign your comments with four tildes. And don't leave a space before your comments. --Erikupoeg (talk) 07:55, 2 February 2009 (UTC)

The Delta Queen and The King[edit]

The topic of Bobbie Gentry and Elvis Presley has intrigued fans for decades. The 1974 Worlds Almanic lists only two celebrities from Mississippi, Bobbie and Elvis. One of Elvis's favorite songs was Ode to Billie Joe. It is listed in the Elvis record collection at Graceland. In a 2003 article on Bobbie Gentry for Mojo Magazine, Tom Jones outlines their friendship. He states that himself and Bobbie were kindred spirts with the King. After their Vegas shows were over for the night, they would somtimes meet the King for gospel jam sessions that would go on all night. Tom Jones states" she was great looking,fantastic,outspoken but she was more like one of the guys, a star in her own right" In 1973, word got back to Elvis on Bobbie's Vegas Review where she would dress in Elvis male drag and sing some of his classic songs. Concerned that it might be a parody instead of a tribute, Elvis caught the act and was blown away by it( Bobbie reprised the act for her 1973 summer replacement tv show" Bobbie Gentry's Happness Hour).It was a revelation seeing her perform' 'Heartbreak Hotel' dressed as the King. A deeper friendship began. Gossip magazines at the time were filled with articles of them dating. Newspapers even reported an engagment between them. What is know is that she successfully sued the gossip magazines when it was reported she was expecting Elvis's child in 1973. She remains one of the few people who knew Elvis intimately and never profited from the association. While many former girl friends of the king were signing lucrative contracts for tell all books, Bobbie has kept to her strict code of privacy. April 2009 SkytorchSkytorch (talk) 04:25, 14 April 2009 (UTC)

Once again, this is fascinating stuff, but provide it with a good source and WP:BOLD. --Jaan Pärn (talk) 11:00, 29 April 2009 (UTC)

Bobbie's Loyal Gay Fan Base[edit]

One interesting fact I've noticed about Bobbie's core fan base is the many gay fans she has. Is it the potent mix of great beauty and talent? The Greta Garbo vanishing act? The many gay men Bobbie hired over the years in her legendary Vegas review? I feel its all these elements and most of all, the drama of her disappearance. She became highly successful in the male dominated entertainment business of the late 60's and 70's She was a survivor who did not need a truck load of hit records to mantain her star status. She played outside convention, refusing to be boxed in as a pop,country or blues singer. She refused to be dominated by a record label or producer. There could be no Owen Bradly or Billy Sheryll calling the shots in her career. She took control, running her own publishing company(Super Darlin Publishing) ( in a deal with Larry Shayne). Her production company (Gentry Ltd) got its start co-producing her variety show in England with the BBC. She was even a part owner of the Phoenix Suns basketball team. She is an imporatnt pioneer, paving the way for women to take control of their own careers. And she did it all with massive talent, style and grace. Skytorch May 2009(Skytorch (talk) 04:24, 29 May 2009 (UTC))

It's a stretch to claim she has a "loyal gay fan base." Based on what? The gay (bisexual actually) element in the novel and movie adaptation of her song "Ode to Billie Joe" was not her idea. Try putting together a big Vegas musical show without hiring gay dancers. Can't be done. If the show's producers stiffed on paying them would they be so loyal? 5Q5 (talk) 14:58, 28 July 2012 (UTC)

The Mississippi Musicans Hall of fame[edit]

In 2008, Bobbie Gentry joined Tammy Wynette, Conway Twitty and Elvis as a country music inductee in the Mississippi Musicans Hall of fame. It is considered one of the most prestigous state halls wit the rich musical traditons of the deep South and the Delta SkytorchSkytorch (talk) 05:24, 4 February 2010 (UTC) Feb. 2010

Ode to Billie Joe: #1 Song of 1967[edit]

While Billboard lists Bobbie's Ode to Billie Joe as the #3 single of 1967(not #4,I've checked the billboard source book); it had 5 other chart covers in the same year. Included in these were chart hits by King Curtis, Margie Singleton and Lee Hazelwood. The combined airplay and sales with these singles make it the clear winner for song of the year honors. Bobbie's #1 debut album of the same title also landed at #4 for the year end album charts. Ode to Billie Joe was such a strong single and album that the sales spilled over into 1968. 1968 sales of the single and album reached another half million.Skytorch (talk) 16:45, 7 February 2010 (UTC) Skytorch For verification that Ode to Billie Joe was indeed Billboards#3 single of the year and not #4 go to You will find the correct top 100 singles of 1967 listed in order.```` —Preceding unsigned comment added by Skytorch (talkcontribs) 23:49, 20 June 2010 (UTC)

All star Salute To Mothers Day NBC, May 10, 1981[edit]

Will someone please fix the Bobbie Gentry bio. page which states her last television performance was on Johnny Carson in 1978. She performed on this mothers day tv special in May of 1981 hosted by Ed McMahon. Other guests included Bob Hope , Barbra Mandrell and Ginger Rogers. Bobbie sang the broadway song ' Mama A Rainbow'. This can be easily verified by going to The Internet Movie Data Base(I.M.D.B) skytorchSkytorch (talk) 05:41, 27 March 2010 (UTC)

Bobbie Gentry's 11 billboard hot 100 singles[edit]

I don't know where the figure of nine came from but its actually 11 hot 100 singles for this artist. they are 1: Ode to Billie Joe,#1 pop(four weeks),2: Oklahona River Bottom Band,#54 pop 3:Louisiana Man,#100 pop,4:Morn'in Glory#71 pop,5:Let It Be Me #38 pop,#6 Fancy,#31 pop(two weeks),7:He Made A Woman Out Of Me,#71 pop 8:Apartment 21#81 pop 9:All I have To Do is Dream#26 pop, 10: Ode to Billie Joe(Warner-Curb 1976-re-record) #65 pop,11.Ode to Billie Joe(1976 Capitol re-issue)#54 pop The re-record and re-issue of Ode to Billie Joe were nine years after the original and had a combined 1976 sale of over 300,000 singles SkytorchSkytorch (talk) 06:28, 5 April 2010 (UTC)

I do not have access to the Billboard archive, so where can I verify the claims? --Jaan Pärn (talk) 08:16, 5 April 2010 (UTC)

I received this information from the 'Billboard Book of Hot 100 hits'(2003 edition) at our local library. I have actually purchased all of Bobbie Gentry's singles and album through the years. It was interesting that Capitol Records chose to sabotage the Warner -Curb re-record of the song for the film soundtrack by re-issuing the original 1967 single. With both singles on the hot 100,at the same time, it deluted the ranking one single would have achieved. 300,000 singles sold would have pushed one single release into the top forty. Ode to Billie Joe was the biggest female single in the history of Capitol Records and #10 on the labels all time hits list. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Skytorch (talkcontribs) 21:58, 5 April 2010 (UTC)

You are welcome to include verified information to the article. --Jaan Pärn (talk) 22:23, 5 April 2010 (UTC)
You have to provide inline citations for your information. --Jaan Pärn (talk) 17:39, 6 April 2010 (UTC)

The Barry White- Bobbie Gentry Connection[edit]

According to the late Barry White, in his auto-biography' Love Unlimited', Bobbie Gentry came into Mustang-Bronco Records for a live audition in 1966. Barry White was chief a&r man and VP for the label. Bobbie came in with her boyfriend at the time, songwriter Jim Ford, and sang Ode to Billie Joe for Barry and the President of the label,Bob Keena. Barry White was so impressed he wanted to sign her on the spot but was vetoed by Bob Keena. A few months later, Bobbie had her one off single 10,000 deal at Capitol Records, and the single of Ode to Billie Joe exploded on the national stage. Later in 1967, Mustang- Bronco Records went bankrupt with Ode to Billie Joe an international sensation and #1 on the pop singles and album charts. The only song Bobbie did not write on her debut album was Niki Hoeky,co-written by Jim Ford. He would earn about 35,000 from the Gentry cover and the song would go on to be a hit for Redbone(who were listed as co-authors) and even covered by the great Aretha Franklin. skytorch May 2010Skytorch (talk) 21:47, 2 May 2010 (UTC)

Do you have the page numbers for the information? --Jaan Pärn (talk) 11:42, 3 May 2010 (UTC)

I received the book from our city library and will return to get the page numbers. I'm not even sure the book is still in print. I noticed Wikipedia used the source(Chart Ranger) in placing Ode to Billie Joe as the #4 single of 1967. I don't know who Chart Ranger is but the Billboard research books I have read in the past place it #3 and the album #4. I wonder how Bobbie's career would have been different under a small idie label with a roots r&b focus. It would have been less pressure for sure and I'm convinced she would have had a much longer recording legacy. skytorch68.21.74.13 (talk) 11:45, 6 May 2010 (UTC) ChartRanger is a totally unreliable source. They list the Doors single 'Light My Fire' at #2 for the year 1967. I have the Billboard source book for the 1960's. The correct order is totally different and ODE TO BILLIE JOE is listed at #3 for the year 1967. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Skytorch (talkcontribs) 16:51, 30 January 2011 (UTC)

Jazz Pianist, Bill Evans, Instrumental of Mornin' Glory[edit]

One of the truly great artistic career achievments for Bobbie Gentry was when master jazz pianist, Bill Evans, recorded her composition Mornin' Glory. He kept the glorious, lush sound of the song in his stunning instrumental interpretation. He is considered by many as one of the greatest jazz pianists of the 20th century. The song can be heared on several You Tube clips. skytorch: dec 2010Skytorch (talk) 06:26, 6 December 2010 (UTC)

Then go ahead and add the fact, provided proper reference. Youtube is not one. --Jaan Pärn (talk) 10:36, 6 December 2010 (UTC)

date of birth[edit]

The article states 1944, but the panel states 1942 (talk) 00:56, 15 March 2013 (UTC) geoff97