The celebrated composer and bandleader whose elegant melodies dominated pop radio for several decades, has died at the age of 94.
Bacharach gave Bobbie one of her biggest hits when she topped the UK singles chart in August 1969 with her recording of ‘I’ll Never Fall In Love Again’. Bobbie’s recording was the most popular release of the song outside America, and also hit the top spot in Australia, and Ireland, reaching number 3 in South Africa and number 5 in Norway. In the U.S. her version was eclipsed by Dionne Warwick’s recording which came out 5 months later. The track appeared on two of Bobbie’s albums – Touch ’em With Love in 1969 and Fancy in 1970. Infact the Fancy album was renamed in Europe to tie in with the hit single, and also contained her version of ‘Raindrop’s Keep Fallin’ On My Head’.
Bobbie recorded two further songs by Bacharach which weren’t released until after her retirement, these appear on her previously unreleased easy listening jazz album The Windows Of The World which contains the title track and ‘This Girl’s In Love With You’ – many fans feel these unreleased acoustic recordings eclipsed her released versions of Bacharach’s songs.
Following the remastered, expanded editions of The Beatles’ 1966 landmark Revolver U-discover have compiled an affectionate companion to the reissue in their article by Paul Sexton here. The multi-artist tribute follows the same song sequence as the original and underlines just how many times and in how many different styles the 14 songs on the record have been covered. Bobbie’s ‘Here There And Everywhere’ from Local Gentry features on this alternative Revolver.
The reviews are in folks! critics are loving the new highlights edition of The Girl From Chickasaw County :
Shindig! ***** – An essential best of, Bobbie Gentry remains impossible to resist
American Songwriter ***** – A classy, indispensable portrait of Bobbie Gentry’s short but influential career
MOJO **** – A concentrated shot of singer songwriter’s dizzying scope
Record Collector **** – supremely versatile, she was also a huge songwriting talent
Pop Matters 9/10 – One could drop the needle anywhere and be mesmerized by Gentry’s rich and diverse talents
Daily Express **** – Showcases her stunning voice
The 2CD and 2 LP compilation is out now and the LP edition comes with a limited edition print over at the Udiscovermusic store.
It’s been a long wait, but Bobbie’s 1970 U.K. album ‘I’ll Never Fall in Love Again’ gets it’s first vinyl repress for HMV as part of their centenary celebrations.
Released in the U.S. as ‘Fancy’, EMI, (who owned Capitol and distributed them in the UK) renamed the album ‘I’ll Never Fall In Love Again’, to tie in with Bobbie’s British number one hit with the song the previous year. The LP was issued with alternative artwork and running order, including two additional songs to the U.S. release; the self-penned ‘Billy the Kid’, (which would also appear on the following year’s ‘Patchwork’) and ‘In the Ghetto’, an outtake from 1969’s Touch ’Em With Love sessions. The album was mostly produced with the legendary Rick Hall at Muscle Shoals, but on several tracks Bobbie receives her first official credit as producer. The repress contains new sleevenotes and rare photos and is available to purchase now from HMV. For more info on the release visit our album page.
Following on from the huge success of 2018’s now sold-out The Girl From Chickasaw County Box Set, comes The Girl From Chickasaw County Highlights From The Capitol Masters which aims to be the ultimate ‘all killer, no filler’ Bobbie Gentry 2 LP & 2 CD compilation. It features treasures from the Grammy nominated Box Set including selections from all 7 of Gentry’s studio albums, supplemented by the cream of the previously unreleased recordings including tracks from her ‘lost’ jazz album The Windows Of The World that was a standout vinyl release of RSD 2021. For more info and the tracklisting head to our album page. Pre-order here.
The Eels frontman Mark Oliver Everett also known by the stage name E picked the Bobbie boxet as one of his cultural highlights in the Guardian column On My Radar. He says: “Bobbie Gentry is an amazing, somewhat unsung artist. This box set has all seven of her albums – the last one was in 1971 – plus tons of unreleased stuff. She is one of the few people who said: “I’m going to go away” and meant it. She really knew what she was doing in every area: singing, songwriting, choreography. She was often producing her music but didn’t get credit for it. I think the reason she quit and disappeared was because she was a woman who wasn’t being taken seriously in the music industry. She probably just got fed up with it and said: “Nah, I don’t need this.”
Bobbie’s lost Jazz album The Windows Of The World is out now. Getting its first stand-alone release on vinyl for Record Store Day 2021, The Windows of the World also features a previously unreleased version of ‘Hushabye Mountain’.
**** Shindig! “Cut between her joint album with Glen Campbell and the pop-soul of Touch’em With Love, this collection of mostly jazz and bossa standards is arguably superior to both.”
New compilation Choctaw Ridge – New Fables of The American South 1968-1973 explores a new country sound, one that emerged at the end of the 60s in the wake of Bobbie’s ‘Ode To Billie Joe’, a surprise number one hit in 1967. When singers like Bobbie, Jimmy Webb, Michael Nesmith and Lee Hazlewood moved from the south to Los Angeles to make it in the music business, they were not part of the Nashville in-crowd and they forged a new direction.
The tracklist and fulsome sleeve notes have been put together by Bob Stanley (Saint Etienne) and Martin Green (Smashing, The Sound Gallery), who have been collecting these records for decades. The set features the alternative version of ‘Belinda’ that first appeared on the boxset. Released on the 30th of July, you can pre-order the collection on CD or Vinyl here.
Bobbie’s lost Jazz album gets its first stand-alone release on vinyl for Record Store Day 2021. 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. These surviving recordings were first issued on The Girl From Chickasaw County boxset, and are collected together exclusively for this RSD release. The Windows of the World also features a previously unreleased version of ‘Hushabye Mountain’.
You can get a copy from a participating indie record shop near you on 17th July 2021
Perry Botkin Jr., the film and TV composer, arranger and producer has died. He was 87.
Botkin worked with Bobbie on her Local Gentry album, as an arranger and conductor, and also assisted on her 1968 BBC TV series. He amassed a distinguished list of musical credits, working as an arranger with producers including Phil Spector and Van Dyke Parks and with artists like Dory Previn, Barbra Streisand, Sammy Davis Jr., Bobby Darin, Jack Jones, Peggy Lee, The Everly Brothers, The Supremes, The Ronettes, Connie Stevens, Jose Feliciano and Paul Williams. He also arranged Glen Campbell’s ‘Wichita Lineman’.
Botkin scored a number of successful films and TV shows receiving a best original song Oscar nom for the title tune Bless the Beasts and Children (1971) that was performed by The Carpenters. He is also remembered for his themes to Happy Days, Mork and Mindy and The Young and the Restless — a tune forever associated with famed Olympic gymnast Nadia Comăneci
Botkin died Monday at Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, and is survived by his wife Liza, son David, and grandson Daniel Tyler Botkin.