An eight-CD box set covering the entire career of Bobbie Gentry, The Girl From Chickasaw County – The Complete Capitol Masters, will be released by Capitol/UMe on Sept. 21. The major retrospective includes all seven of Gentry’s studio albums remastered from the original tapes, along with over 75 previously unreleased recordings including her ‘lost’ jazz album, outtakes, demos, rarities and an eighth disc of live performances taken from her celebrated series for the BBC.
The set also includes specially commissioned cover art by David Downton and features an 84-page book with a comprehensive essay by boxset compiler Andrew Batt, rare and unseen photos, eight postcards and a facsimile of her original handwritten lyrics for “Ode To Billie Joe.”
Among the tracks in the extensive compilation are classic originals like “Ode To Billie Joe,” swamp funk mover “Mississippi Delta” (complete with an alternative version), the Glen Campbell duet “Mornin’ Glory,” her definitive cover of “Hushabye Mountain,” the pop-soul “Fancy,” and from her final album, the melancholy “Lookin In.” In addition, there are previously unreleased recordings including originals like “I Didn’t Know” and “Joanne” alongside essential covers of “Conspiracy Of Homer Jones,” “God Bless The Child,” and “Spinning Wheel.” Also included are intimate acoustic performances of “The Seventh Son,” “Feelin’ Good,” “Seasons Come, Seasons Go” and “Belinda.”
Gentry, whose birthday was last Friday, July 27, released seven studio albums and broke ground in numerous ways as one of the first female musicians to write, produce and even publish her own music. She also produced her elaborate stage shows via her own production company and was the first female singer songwriter to be afforded her own BBC TV series in the UK, where she was wildly popular. She became one of the most influential artists of the 1960s and ’70s. In the early ‘80s made her final appearance and retreated from the public eye.
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