Today in 1967, the “Ode to Billy Joe” album by Bobbie Gentry was certified gold.
Bobbie Gentry (born Roberta Lee Streeter; July 27, 1942) was one of the first female artists to compose and produce her own material.
Gentry rose to international fame with her intriguing southern gothic narrative “Ode to Billie Joe” in 1967. The track spent four weeks as the No. 1 pop song on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and was fourth in the Billboard year-end chart of 1967, earning Gentry Grammy awards for Best New Artist and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance in 1968.
Gentry charted 11 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 and four singles on the United Kingdom Top 40. Her album Fancy brought her a Grammy nomination for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. After her first albums, she had a successful run of variety shows on the Las Vegas Strip. In the late 1970s, Gentry lost interest in performing. Since 2010 Gentry has lived in a private gated community outside Memphis, Tennessee.