Bobbie Gentry may have long ago disappeared from public life but thankfully her musical legacy lives on. On September 21st a new box set entitled The Girl From Chickasaw County will be released, much to the delight of her many fans. This eight CD collection will include all of her seven studio albums newly remastered, supplemented by over 75 previously unreleased recordings including her ‘lost’ jazz album, outtakes, demos, rarities and a disc of live performances taken from her celebrated series for the BBC (which was released on vinyl as part of Record Store Day earlier this year).
And as if all the music delights aren’t enough, there is also the fact that the boxset is one of the most aesthetically pleasing collections you are ever likely to see. Celebrated fashion illustrator David Downton has been commissioned to create the front cover, which looks absolutely stunning. Inside more delights are to be found, including rare and previously unseen photos, plus eight postcards of Gentry. Another real treat is that each boxset will include a facsimile copy of Bobbie’s handwritten lyrics to Ode to Billie Joe. If you aren’t salivating at this very thought then please leave my website right now and never return.
Compiler Andrew Batt has been working on this project for a year and he has also written comprehensive sleeve notes on Gentry’s life and work. Part of Gentry’s appeal is her mysterious retreat from the music industry, so to have both the Record Store Day release and this boxset in one year is a real unexpected joy. As one of the most important women in music history Gentry’s legacy deserves this kind of care and attention. I wrote earlier this year about Gentry’s influence on other women artists and hopefully a collection like will help to keep a light shining on her music so others can discover her in the future.
A full review of the boxset will be published after the release date but until then you can hear a sampler of the collection on Spotify. Now if only Gentry would be so kind as to consider emerging from the shadows to promote this wonderful collection then that really would be the stuff dreams are made of.
Find Out More: http://bobbiegentry.org.uk
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