If you’re asked about the year 1967 where it concerns music there’s a good chance you’ll respond with the Summer of Love, the Monterey Pop Festival, and the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band whether you were part of that scene or not.
But in the midst of the Summer of Love along came a song steeped in darkness and doom. Its lyrics told the story of a young man named Billie Joe McAllister who ended his life by jumping off the Tallahatchie Bridge. The words and music were written by an unknown young female singer/songwriter from Mississippi named Roberta Streeter who was now going by the name Bobbie Gentry. In the summer of ’67, Bobbie Gentry became an overnight sensation with her monster hit “Ode to Billie Joe,” which knocked The Beatles’ “All You Need is Love” from the top of the singles charts while the album of the same name knocked Sgt. Pepper off the top of the album charts.