Saturday, April 26, 2014

Musical Interlude: Ode to Billie Joe (1967)

From The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour comes an all-time country classic.

Bobbie Gentry's haunting "Ode to Billie Joe" was later adapted into a feature film in 1976, produced and directed by Max Baer, Jr. (ex-The Beverly Hillbillies), but it all started with a little piece of Southern Gothic tragedy, which, in fact, was edited down from its original length to make it available to radio.


magicdog said...

I first heard this song during one of the great Top 40 countdowns hosted by Norm N. Night on WCBS 101-FM back in the 80s. This was a great station - on weekends, there were top 40 countdowns of various years from the 50s to the mid 70s. You heard all sorts of tunes - from the classics, to lost gold and forgotten joke songs.

The song always seemed odd and no one apparently knew just what the girl and Billy Joe threw off the Tallahatchie Bridge. It was up to one's imagination I guess.

I remember the movie it spawned - the ending was ridiculous! The local TV guide description said it best:

"Based on the hit 60s song. You can film a novel, or even a poem, but you can't film a lyric.".

hobbyfan said...

Too bad Norm's show isn't in syndication anymore. It was a few years ago, but I didn't listen to it much. My loss, I know.

Haven't seen the movie version of "Billie Joe", but maybe one day...