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Gone without a trace after an unexpected concert cancellation, this musical legend is coming back from the eerie depths of a mysterious disappearance and releasing a massive collection of both old and new songs.
Bobbie Gentry, born Roberta Lee Streeter, was just 23 years old when her timeless ballad hit the charts and took off like wildfire, selling more than three million copies and topping the country, pop, rock, and easy listening charts.
But, in a moment almost as mysterious as the unknown item Bille Joe McAllister threw off the Tallahatchie Bridge before taking his own life…Bobbie Gentry completely vanished from the public eye.
In 1967, her multiple Grammy-winning song “Ode To Billie Joe,” was issued to the charts – not as an overproduced single with a lot of fanfare, but using the original demo recording Gentry submitted along with an added string section.
Gentry would go on to find great success from her music, with popular duets alongside Glen Campbell, songwriting wins with Reba McEntire’s cover of “Fancy,” and she became the first woman to ever host a variety show on the BBC.
Less than 20 years after her smash breakthrough into the world of entertainment, Bobbie Gentry performed a career-first…and last. Set to take the stage with Mac Davis during a 1983 concert, Gentry canceled the show abruptly – something she had never done before. After that canceled performance, Gentry was spotted a handful of times at industry events, and then utterly vanished without a trace, withdrawing from the public eye to lead a secret, private life.
Now, for the first time in more than 40 years, and 37 years since her last performance (1981) – some of the most mysterious and elusive recordings of Bobbie Gentry are being released to the public.
A full-featured boxed set will debut on September 21st, 2018 and feature all seven of her previously-released studio albums. Each will be remastered from original tape recordings and sold as an eight-disc set. Titled The Girl From Chickasaw County, it’s sure to be a top-seller worldwide.
In addition to the remastered recordings from her career, the set includes 75 never-before-released recordings. These unheard of tracks included a stunning jazz album that many believed to have been “lost” for decades. Capitol Records also is including outtakes, rare demos, and other historical nuggets from her career that was cut short.
The record label hasn’t expressed why they are choosing to release this long-forgotten material now and it’s not clear if Bobbie Gentry herself had a hand in getting it released. Either way, fans of classic country music and Gentry alike will be thrilled to get their hands on this rare collection.
Watch Bobbie Gentry sing her famous “Ode to Bille Joe” below and let us know if you’ll be ordering a copy!