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Encyclopedia > Ode to Billie Joe
Ode to Billie Joe
Ode to Billie Joe cover
Studio album by Bobbie Gentry
Released 1967
Recorded  ?
Genre Country
Length 26:24
Label Capitol
Producer  ?
Professional reviews
Bobbie Gentry chronology

Ode to Billie Joe
(1967)
The Delta Sweete
(1968)

Ode to Billie Joe is a 1967 album written and performed by Bobbie Gentry, a singer-songwriter from Chickasaw County, Mississippi. Released as a single in late July, the album's title track was a massive number-one hit in the USA and became a big international seller. Image File history File links Odetobillyjoe. ... A studio album is a collection of previously unreleased, studio-recorded tracks by a recording artist. ... Bobbie Gentry (b. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... For other uses, see Country (disambiguation). ... This does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Capitol Records is a major United States-based record label, owned by EMI. // The Capitol Records company was founded by the songwriter Johnny Mercer in 1942, with the financial help of movie producer Buddy DeSylva and the business acumen of Glenn Wallichs, (1910-1971) (owner of Music City, at the... In the music industry, a record producer (or music producer) has many roles, among them controlling the recording sessions, coaching and guiding the musicians, organizing and scheduling production budget and resources, and supervising the recording, mixing and mastering processes. ... The All Music Guide (AMG) is a metadata database about music, owned by All Media Guide. ... Image File history File links 4. ... Bobbie Gentry (b. ... The Delta Sweete is a 1968 album by Bobbie Gentry. ... An album or record album is a collection of related audio or music tracks distributed to the public. ... Bobbie Gentry (b. ... The term singer-songwriter refers to performers who both write and sing their own material. ... Chickasaw County is a county located in the state of Mississippi. ... This article is about the U.S. state. ...

Contents

Story

Although recounted as a first person narrative, the Southern Gothic tale is revealed through the dialogue of others. First-person narrative is a literary technique in which the story is narrated by one or more of the characters, who explicitly refers to him or herself in the first person, that is, I. The narrator is thus directly or indirectly involved in the story being told. ... Southern Gothic is a subgenre of the Gothic writing style, unique to American literature. ...


As the narrator sits down to a meal with her family, "Mama" casually states that the word from Choctaw Ridge is that "Today Billie Joe MacAllister jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge," apparently to his death. The Tallahatchie River flows from Tippah County, Mississippi to Leflore County, Mississippi, where it joins the Yalobusha River to form the Yazoo River. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ...


None too surprised, family members exchange memories about Billie Joe, and Mama notices the narrator's loss of appetite. Mama casually recounts her visit with with local preacher, Brother Taylor that morning. Brother Taylor saw Billie Joe and a girl who looked a lot like the narrator throwing something off of Tallahatchie Bridge not too long ago. A year passes. The narrator's brother has married and moved away, her father has died and her mother is despondent. The narrator herself often visits the bridge to drop flowers off of it. Wildflowers A flower is the reproductive organ of those plants classified as angiosperms ( flowering plants; Division Magnoliophyta). ...


Mystery craze

The mysteries surrounding the characters in the story created a cultural sensation. In 1975, Gentry told author Herman Raucher that she hadn't come up with a reason for Billie Joe's suicide when she wrote the song. She has stated in numerous interviews over the years that the focus of the song was not the suicide itself, but rather the matter-of-fact way that the narrator's family was discussing the tragedy over dinner, unaware that Billie Joe had been her boyfriend. "Ode" was so popular in 1967 that Frank Sinatra, who loved it, asked jazz great Ella Fitzgerald to sing a few verses for his TV special. The recording of "Ode to Billie Joe" generated eight Grammy nominations, including four wins. Bolstered by a perfectly judged arrangement of strings (by Jimmie Haskell) and acoustic guitar, the single creates a haunting and atmospheric universe in a category all its own. A popular speculation at the release of the song in 1967 was that the narrator and Billie Joe threw their baby (either stillborn or aborted) off the bridge, and Billie Joe then killed himself out of grief and guilt. Herman Raucher Herman Raucher (born April 13, 1928 in Brooklyn, New York) is an American author who has written several novels and screenplays, among them the popular Summer of 42 and The Great Santini. ... “Sinatra” redirects here. ... Ella Jane Fitzgerald (April 25, 1917 – June 15, 1996), also known as Lady Ella and the First Lady of Song, is considered one of the most influential jazz vocalists of the 20th Century. ...


Novel and screenplay adaptations

The song's popularity proved so enduring that in 1976, nine years after its release, Warner Bros. commissioned author Herman Raucher to adapt it into a novel and screenplay, Ode to Billy Joe (note different spelling). The poster's tagline, which treats the film as being based on actual events and even gives a date of death for Billy (June 3, 1953), led many to believe that the song was based on actual events. In fact, when Raucher met Bobbie Gentry in preparation for writing the novel and screenplay, she confessed that she herself had no idea why Billie killed himself. In Raucher's novel and screenplay, Billy Joe kills himself after a drunken homosexual experience, and the object thrown from the bridge is the narrator's ragdoll. “WB” redirects here. ... Herman Raucher Herman Raucher (born April 13, 1928 in Brooklyn, New York) is an American author who has written several novels and screenplays, among them the popular Summer of 42 and The Great Santini. ... Ode to Billy Joe is a 1976 film. ... is the 154th day of the year (155th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1953 (MCMLIII) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...


As an archetype of the gay suicide myth, Billy Joe's story is analyzed in Professor John Howard's history of gay Mississippi entitled Men Like That: A Queer Southern History.


Cover versions

  • Jean-Michel Rivat and Frank Thomas translated "Ode to Billie Joe" to French for American-French singer Joe Dassin, who recorded it in October 1967. In the French version the central character is Marie-Jeanne Guillaume, who jumps into the Garonne.
  • Another electric guitar instrumental version of Ode To Billie Joe was performed by The Ventures. It was released on their $1,000,000 Weekend album in December 1967.
  • Singer Nancy Wilson featured a cover of "Ode To Billie Joe" on her 1968 album Welcome To My Love. The track is notable for a funky, driving arrangement by Oliver Nelson. It was used by David Holmes in an Essential Mix he produced for BBC Radio 1 in 1997.
  • Country Music artist Margie Singleton recorded a version of the song in the late 1960s, and made it a Top 40 Country hit.
  • Karin Krog recorded a version with Dexter Gordon on the album Some Other Spring in 1970.
  • Bluegrass and rock guitarist Clarence White, a latter-day member of The Byrds, performed an electric guitar instrumental version of "Ode To Billie Joe" with the band Nashville West on their 1976 album of the same name.
  • The late guitar great Danny Gatton and pedal steel legend Buddy Emmons traded licks on a funkified version of "Ode to Billie Joe" on live recording titled "Redneck Jazz" (NRG Records, 1978).
  • The British band Torch Song covered the tune for their 1984 album Wish Thing. They released it as a single in 1985.
  • Danish post-punk band Sort Sol covered "Ode to Billie Joe"" on their 1986 album Everything That Rises Must Converge
  • Bonnie Hayes covered it on her 1987 album Empty Sky (Beacon Records BEA-51562).
  • In 1993, Sinéad O'Connor covered the song for the Warchild benefit album.
  • "Ode To Billie Joe" was also covered by jazz singer and pianist Patricia Barber on her 1994 album Cafe Blue.
  • Farmer's Daughter recorded a version on the album Makin' Hay in 1996.
  • John Butler recorded a version on the EMI records 2-disc release entitled "Come Again" in 1997.
  • The song was covered by Sheryl Crow during her VH1 Storytellers session in 1998. Introducing the song, Sheryl Crow cited it as one of her major influences, stating that she was fascinated with the string arrangement and that she'd tried to carry that through on her own records.
  • Jazz Saxophonist Tom Scott covered Ode to Billie Joe on his 1999 album "Smokin' Section". The lead vocals were performed by Patty Smyth, former lead singer of Scandal.
  • Blues musicians Paul Oscher and Steve Guyger recorded an instrumental version, which features the melody on harmonica, and was released on their Album "Living Legends: Deep in the Blues" in June, 2000.
  • Country artist Leslie Satcher covered the song on her 2002 album Love Letters.
  • Henry Kaiser, avant-garde guitarist and marine biologist, recorded a sprawling 9:35 version for his album of eclectic pop-rock covers, "Those Who Know History Are Doomed to Repeat It" (SST Records, 1989). Cary Sheldon's warm and expressive voice provides sweetness to combine with Kaiser's gently dissonant, psychedelic guitar work for exactly the right spooky effect.

Joe Dassin Joseph Ira Dassin (November 5, 1938 – August 20, 1980) was a French-speaking American musician. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... An electric guitar is a type of guitar that uses pickups to convert the vibration of its steel-cored strings into electrical current, which is then amplified. ... Ode to Billie Joe is a 1967 album written and performed by Bobbie Gentry, a singer-songwriter from Chickasaw County, Mississippi. ... Walk Dont Run (1960) The Ventures are a rock instrumental band formed in 1958, by Don Wilson and Bob Bogle, two Seattle masonry workers. ... Look up December in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Year 1967 (MCMLXVII) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display full calendar) of the 1967 Gregorian calendar. ... Nancy Wilson is the name of two prominent American entertainers: An African-American singer and actress. ... Oliver Nelson (1932–1975) was an American jazz saxophonist, clarinettist, and composer. ... David Holmes may refer to: David Holmes, territorial and state governor of Mississippi, U.S. Representative and Senator. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Margie Singleton, (born October 5, 1935 in Coushatta, Louisiana), is an American singer of country music. ... The 1960s decade refers to the years from January 1, 1960 to December 31, 1969, inclusive. ... Karin Krog (born May 15, 1937 in Oslo) is a celebrated Norwegian Vocal jazzist. ... Dexter Gordon (February 27, 1923–April 25, 1990) was an American jazz tenor saxophonist, and an Academy Award-nominated actor. ... Bluegrass music is a form of American roots music which has its own roots in Irish, Scottish and English traditional music. ... Clarence White (born Clarence LeBlanc) (June 7, 1944 – July 14, 1973) was a guitar player for Nashville West, The Byrds, Muleskinner, and the Kentucky Colonels. ... The Byrds (formed in Los Angeles, California, in 1964) were an American rock band. ... Danny Gatton (September 4, 1945 – 4 October 1994) was a talented and enigmatic American guitarist who committed suicide at his Maryland home in 1994 while still relatively unknown to the public. ... Pedal steel guitar (also called Steel Guitar) is a type of guitar, and a method of playing the instrument. ... The tone or style of this article or section may not be appropriate for Wikipedia. ... Wish Thing was Torch Songs first album, released in 1984. ... Sort Sol is a rock band from Copenhagen, Denmark. ... Everything That Rises Must Converge is the forth album by danish rock act Sort Sol. ... Bonnie Hayes is an American singer from California, USA. In 1982 Hayes released her first album entitled Good Clean Fun, a new wave/rock offering, under the band name Bonnie Hayes with the Wild Combo.[1] // Bonnie Hayes teaches various aspects of songwriting. ... Sinéad Marie Bernadette OConnor (born December 8, 1966) is a Grammy Award winning Irish singer and songwriter. ... Patricia Barber Patricia Barber, born in 1956, is an American jazz singer, pianist, and bandleader. ... The Daughters (formerly known as Farmers Daughter) are an award-winning Canadian country music group. ... Makin Hay is the second studio album by Canadian country music group Farmers Daughter, and was released in 1996 by Universal Music Canada. ... People named John Butler include: John Butler (pioneer) (1728-1796), a United States pioneer involved in the American Revolutionary War. ... Sheryl Suzanne Crow (born February 11, 1962) is an American blues rock singer, guitarist, bassist, and songwriter. ... VH1 Storytellers is a television series produced by the VH-1 network. ... There are different people named Tom Scott: Tom Scott, Scottish poet. ... Patty Smyth (born June 26, 1957 in New York City, New York, USA) first enjoyed mainstream success in 1982 as vocalist and lead singer of the band Scandal. ... Paul Oscher (born April 5, 1950) [1] is an American blues singer, songwriter, and instrumentalist. ... Love Letters is the upcoming second solo album by Beyoncé Knowles. ... Henry Kaiser is: An industrialist involved with the construction of Boulder (now Hoover) Dam, see Henry J. Kaiser; A musician—see Henry Kaiser (musician). ...

Parody

Bob Dylan's 1967 "Clothesline Saga," sometimes referred to as "Clothes Line" (on The Basement Tapes), is a parody of the song. It mimics the conversational style of "Ode to Billie Joe" with lyrics concentrating on routine household chores. The shocking event buried in all the mundane details is the revelation that "The Vice-President's gone mad!"[1] This article is about the recording artist. ... The Basement Tapes are a series of recordings by North American folk-rockers Bob Dylan and The Band, recorded in mid-1967. ...


The Austin Lounge Lizards' "Shallow End of the Gene Pool", from their 1995 album Small Minds, is melodically similar to "Ode to Billie Joe", and in fact ends with the line "and that's why Billie Joe McAllister jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge". The Austin Lounge Lizards are a band from Austin, Texas formed in 1980. ...


Album tracks

  1. "Mississippi Delta" – 3:05
  2. "I Saw an Angel Die" – 2:56
  3. "Chickasaw County Child" – 2:45
  4. "Sunday Best" – 2:50
  5. "Niki Hoeky" – 2:45
  6. "Papa, Won't You Let Me Go to Town With You?" – 2:30
  7. "Bugs" – 2:05
  8. "Hurry, Tuesday Child" – 4:52
  9. "Lazy Willie" – 2:36
  10. "Ode to Billie Joe" – 4:15

Chart positions

USA

Billboard albums Billboard can refer to: Billboard magazine Billboard (advertising) Billboard antenna In 3D computer graphics, to billboard is to rotate an object so that it faces the viewer. ...

Year Chart Chart position
1967 Pop Albums #1
1967 Black Albums #5
1967 Country Albums #1

Billboard Singles Billboard can refer to: Billboard magazine Billboard (advertising) Billboard antenna In 3D computer graphics, to billboard is to rotate an object so that it faces the viewer. ...

Year Single Chart Chart position
1967 "Ode to Billie Joe" Adult Contemporary #7
1967 "Ode to Billie Joe" Black Singles #8
1967 "Ode to Billie Joe" Country Singles #17
1967 "Ode to Billie Joe" Pop Singles #1
Preceded by
"All You Need Is Love" by The Beatles
Billboard Hot 100 number one single
August 26, 1967
Succeeded by
"The Letter" by Box Tops

Music sample All You Need Is Love ( file info) Problems? See media help. ... The White Album, see The Beatles (album). ... “Hot 100” redirects here. ... This is a list of number-one hits in the United States by year from the Billboard Hot 100. ... is the 238th day of the year (239th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1967 (MCMLXVII) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display full calendar) of the 1967 Gregorian calendar. ... Cover of The Letter by The Box Tops. ... The Box Tops were a United States pop music group of the late 1960s. ...

Notes

  1. ^ http://bobdylan.com/songs/clothesline.html

Image File history File links Broom_icon. ...

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Ode to Billie Joe - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (528 words)
Ode to Billie Joe is a 1967 album written and performed by Bobbie Gentry, a singer-songwriter from Chickasaw County, Mississippi.
In Raucher's novel and screenplay, Billy Joe kills himself after realising he is homosexual, and the object thrown from the bridge is the narrator's ragdoll.
"Ode To Billie Joe" was also covered by Jazz singer and pianist Patricia Barber on her 1994 album Cafe Blue.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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