Click on the song titles above for lyrics and songwriting credits
Bobbie Gentry found herself at a crossroads as 1968 drew to its close: Both of her previous solo LPs The Delta Sweete and Local Gentry, had underperformed, but her commercial fortunes had been restored with the duets album Bobbie Gentry and Glen Campbell. Capitol Records were keen to maintain this renewed popularity and didn’t intend leaving anything to chance on her next LP; Bobbie understood a new direction was called for, and whilst a further bid for the mainstream was a given, there was clearly some hesitation as to where this new direction should go.
Bobbie was at the vanguard of the emerging female singer-songwriter movement, but in her youth the successful female performer was best embodied by the easy listening jazz diva.
At some point in the autumn of 1968 Bobbie decided to re-cast herself as a sort of Mississippi Julie London and in a series of sessions beginning at the end of the year and running through to March 1969, she cut a laid-back album of classic and contemporary jazz tunes that was sadly abandoned before it had a chance to see the light of day. This was a shame, as Bobbie proved herself as adept in this genre as in any other. No information survives on the musicians involved, but the tracklist provides a fascinating insight into her musical taste and the artists she was listening to, who ranged from Billie Holiday to Barbra Streisand and took in Lou Rawls, Nancy Wilson, Lenny Welch, Dolores Gray and Dionne Warwick along the way.
Recorded at the height of her ill-fated love affair with Producer Kelly Gordon, (who had worked on her first four LP’s) the song selection is an unusually romantic one for Bobbie whose own discography up to this point is notably lacking in romantic balladry. Sadly, their relationship floundered before The Windows Of The World could be completed, and the album died along with the romance that had inspired it. These surviving recordings, first issued on The Girl From Chickasaw County boxset, are a lasting tribute to both their working relationship and a satisfying document of their love affair.
Mixed and mastered by Andrew Batt, the eight original recordings are supplemented by a previously unreleased version of ‘Hushabye Mountain’ – which may have spearheaded the idea for the album, and Bobbie’s first composition not in her usual Southern style; ‘I Didn’t Know’.
Collectively, these 10 songs are among Bobbie’s best recordings of this period and exude a sophisticated, intimate, late-night sound that she would sadly not attempt again. So, pour yourself a drink, turn down the lights, and let the girl from Chickasaw County sing to you about what she sees through the windows of the world.
This LP was produced exclusively for Record Store Day 2021.