The Delta Sweete

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The Delta Sweete
Studio album by Bobbie Gentry
Released March 1968
Recorded October 5 - December 12, 1967
Capitol Recording Studio,
Hollywood, CA
Genre Country, pop, blue-eyed soul
Length 33:37
Label Capitol
Producer Kelly Gordon
Bobbie Gentry chronology
Ode to Billie Joe
(1968)Ode to Billie Joe1968
The Delta Sweete
Local Gentry
(1968)Local Gentry1968
Singles from The Delta Sweete
  1. "Okolona River Bottom Band" / "Penduli, Pendulum"
    Released: 1967
  2. "Court Yard" / "Louisiana Man"
    Released: 1968
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[1]

Released in March 1968, Bobbie Gentry's second album, The Delta Sweete, did not quite match the success of Ode to Billie Joe.[2] The "Sweete" in the title referred to both Gentry's southern-belle good looks and the album's suite structure. The LP contained a selection of Bobbie Gentry originals and some covers.[2]

Recording sessions for the album emphasized the unique sound of Gentry's guitar picking and her singing and phrasing styles.[3] The prevailing sound on the album was a swampy, folk-tinged combination of blues and country, with uptown touches like strings and horns seemingly added to reflect the then modern styles of soul music and the Nashville sound.

[2] Delta Sweete was a concept album based on modern life in the Deep South. Gentry wrote eight of the album's 12 tracks,[3] which detailed her Mississippi childhood and included vignettes of home and church life ("Reunion" and "Sermon"), as well as recollections of blues and country hits she heard as a youngster ("Big Boss Man" and "Tobacco Road").

[2] The song "Okolona River Bottom Band", accented by a sophisticated horn chart and breathy strings, used the same basic cadence as "Ode to Billie Joe".

"Sermon," though credited to Gentry, is actually the popular gospel public-domain standard "Run On." Many artists have recorded this song, including Elvis Presley, who recorded perhaps the most well-known version for his 1967 Grammy-winning How Great Thou Art LP. Johnny Cash later recorded and retitled the song as "God's Gonna Cut You Down" during his final sessions in 2003. The song eventually appeared on his American V: A Hundred Highways in 2006.

[3] The Delta Sweete peaked at #132 on the U.S. albums chart. The Doug Kershaw composition "Louisiana Man" peaked at #100 on the Billboard Singles Hot 100.

Track listing (US release)[edit]

All tracks composed by Bobbie Gentry except where indicated.

Side one[edit]

  1. "Okolona River Bottom Band" – 2:57
  2. "Big Boss Man" (Luther Dixon, Al Smith) – 2:56
  3. "Reunion" – 2:35
  4. "Parchman Farm" (Mose Allison) – 3:00
  5. "Mornin' Glory" – 2:57
  6. "Sermon" – 2:41

Side two[edit]

  1. "Tobacco Road" (John D. Loudermilk) – 2:50
  2. "Penduli Pendulum" – 2:55
  3. "Jessye' Lisabeth" – 3:00
  4. "Refractions" – 2:20
  5. "Louisiana Man" (Doug Kershaw) – 2:35
  6. "Courtyard" – 2:58

UK release[edit]

In 1971 the album was reissued as "Tobacco Road" in the UK with a different track order and minus the tracks "Big Boss Man" and "Parchman Farm"

Side One[edit]

All tracks composed by Bobbie Gentry except where indicated.

  1. "Okolona River Bottom Band" – 2:57
  2. "Louisiana Man" (Doug Kershaw) – 2:35
  3. "Reunion" – 2:35
  4. "Mornin' Glory" – 2:57
  5. "Sermon" – 2:41

Side Two[edit]

  1. "Tobacco Road" (John D. Loudermilk) – 2:50
  2. "Penduli Pendulum" – 2:55
  3. "Jessye' Lisabeth" – 3:00
  4. "Refractions" – 2:20
  5. "Courtyard" – 2:58

Chart positions[edit]


Billboard albums

Year Chart Chart position
1968 Pop Albums #132

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^ a b c d "Delta Sweete". All Music Guide. 
  3. ^ a b c Thom Jurek. "The Delta Sweete/Local Gentry". 

External links[edit]