Decades Later, Bobbie Gentry’s Music is Still Charming and Vibrant

She was an easy fit for a variety of genres.

Album Review

Bobbie Gentry
The Girl from Chickasaw County—The Complete Capitol Masters

Mississippi-born Bobbie Gentry topped the pop charts in 1967 with the languid ballad “Ode to Billie Joe,” but there was a lot more to her than this mesmerizing hit. Boasting a husky voice that blended country, pop, and soul with understated flair, she released seven solid albums, then dropped out of sight in the early 80s and hasn’t been heard from since. Compiling all of those LPs on eight discs, along with 75 previously unreleased tracks, The Girl from Chickasaw County—The Complete Capitol Masters is an imposing yet thoroughly rewarding set that makes a strong case for her greatness. Gentry’s down-home charm made her an easy fit for everything from the Beatles and jazz standards to Nashville laments and Cajun shuffles, while originals like “Fancy” show she was an understated songwriter. Hardcore fans can savor a slew of demos and BBC TV appearances, as well as foreign-language obscurities, including a Japanese version of “The Fool on the Hill.” Perhaps the most impressive thing about Gentry’s music is how fresh and vibrant it still sounds.


Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2019 demands.

We Recommend


Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.


Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.


We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.