Tuesday, November 18, 2008

November 18, 2008: Bobbie Gentry - "Mississippi Delta"

Now here is a tune that could carry the "Greatest Song of the Day" banner on any day. I have never attempted to make a list of my top ten favorite songs of all-time. No... that would be nearly impossible. However, if I were ambitious enough to give it a shot, there's no way in hell that "Mississippi Delta" misses the cut.

"Mississippi Delta" was the first single that Bobbie Gentry released for Capitol Records in 1967. However, it was the b-side to that 45 - the classic ballad "Ode to Billie Joe" - that became the iconic megahit.

Of course most know Bobbie Gentry for "Ode to Billie Joe," for being one of the first female country musicians to write and play her own material, and for having completely disappeared from the public eye about thirty years ago. The problem I have is that she tends to get pigeonholed as a country singer. She was so much more. She was just as much a soul singer, a folk singer, and a swamp rocker as she was a country singer. There is no greater evidence that I can present than "Mississippi Delta." Recorded 41 years ago, to my ears it remains the funkiest thing a white woman has ever put on wax.

It is with great excitement that I give you today's Greatest Song of the Day, courtesy of the incomparable Ms. Gentry.


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