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It was the Third of June, another sleepy, dusty Delta day. So begins one of the greatest story songs of all time- “Ode To Billie Joe” written and performed by Bobbie Gentry. Only appropriate that we take another listen to this classic, and see this beautiful lady performing it live on BBC-TV. The song was released on July 10, 1967, and within  3 weeks was Number One, and on its way to becoming a huge international hit. Billboard ranked it as the #3 song of the year. Bobbie went on to have more successes over the next several years, but nothing like that of her first single. She lost interest in performing in the late 1970’s, and retired from the music business. She’s led a very private, reclusive life in recent years, with conflicting reports on where she’s currently living.

Incidentally, that line in the last verse…”There was a virus goin’ round, Papa caught it and he died last spring” certainly has taken on a whole new significance this year. Enjoy this Wayback Wednesday classic!

Bobbie Gentry - Ode To Billie Joe

Bobbie Gentry performs 'Ode To Billie Joe' live on the BBC in 1968.