If you're wondering where part one of this Bobbie Gentry tribute is, check out the more twang-ified side of Bobbie on my sister blog "Weed, Whites & Wine". I've been curious about Bobbie Gentry for awhile now, since I heard her stomping "Mississippi Delta" (below) on a Blue Note rare groove comp (Blue Juice Vol. 1) so whenever I found a record of hers cheap, I'd snag it. I've got most of them now and recently ripped some of my favorite tunes.
Bobbie pretty much defined pop country alongside Glen Campbell, with whom she did a duet album in her peak year (this one is by far the easiest to fine, but not the best example of her stuff). But unlike Glen, Bobbie took a funkier approach, often using drums way out in front and her guitar strumming style had a really rhythmic feel. She claims that she produced all of her records and that she wasn't credited on the LP back covers because it was just unheard of for a woman to be a producer in the mid-to-late sixties. Below I've collected some of the funkier tracks from Bobbie's albums.
Bobbie Gentry - Mississippi Delta
Ironically, this was the A-side to Bobbie's iconic hit song "Ode to Billy Joe". It's a slamming tune and very different than the haunting B-side. This goes to show that Bobbie came out of the gates firing off funky country pop.
Bobbie Gentry - Son of a Preacher Man
Sure, it's no Dusty, but I would say it K.O.'s Aretha's version. Unlike either Aretha or Dusty, Bobbie actually grew up in the South.
Bobbie Gentry - Find 'em, Fool 'em and Forget 'em
An interesting song selection, but checking out the steamy cover painting, you get she's going for a seductive almost pop-feminist theme. In this tune she learns the hard way the downside to being a player and getting played.
Bobbie Gentry - He Made a Woman Out of Me
This is kinda like flip perspective from the last song. You should check out the Weed, Whites & Wine post to hear the title track from this album, which explores similar territory.
Bobbie Gentry - Rainmaker
A nice version of this semi-funky Nilsson tune.
This is a great single-only tune from 1970. I gotta get this one.
and this really great clip of Donovan on Bobbie's show singing a duet on Donovan's Zen Pop song "There is a Mountain":
and one more very groovy version of the classic bayou blue-eyed soul "Niki Hoeky":