As the 60s drew to a close, one of the most successful songwriting partnerships of the decade, Burt Bacharach and Hal David, had one more UK number 1 in the bag, thanks to enigmatic US country music singer-songwriter Bobbie Gentry. The shocking Je t’aime… moi non plus made way after only a week for a more typical pop song, I’ll Never Fall in Love Again, making Gentry the final female artist to have a UK number 1 in the 60s.
A year previous, Bacharach and David had been asked to write the score for the musical Promises Promises, which was based on the 1960 comedy film The Apartment. David Merrick felt his production was missing a catchy song in the middle of the second act. Unfortunately, Bacharach was in hospital with pneumonia and unable to work his magic on a tune, but David didn’t waste time in coming up with some lyrics, and inspired by his friend, he wrote the line ‘What do you get when you kiss a girl?/You get enough germs to catch pneumonia/After you do, she’ll never phone you.’
Bacharach loved it, and as soon as he was well enough, he composed the tune, quicker, he said, than anything else he’d ever written. I’ll Never Fall in Love Again was ready for the Broadway premiere of Promises Promises on 1 December 1968, and, sung by Jill O’Hara and Jerry Orbach, became the most famous song of the show.
As always, singers queued up to record a Bacharach and David song, and it had even more hitmaking potential than usual as it was already popular. Johnny Mathis was first, in May 1969, then Bacharach, with female singers, shortly after. But it took trailblazing Bobbie Gentry, who was at the height of her popularity in the UK, to get it to number 1 here.
Gentry was born Roberta Lee Streeter on 27 July 1942 near Woodland in Chickasaw County, Mississippi. Her parents divorced soon after birth and her mother moved away, so Streeter was raised on her paternal grandparents’ farm. She loved music from a young age, so much so that her grandmother traded one of their cows for a neighbour’s piano. Aged seven, she composed her first song on it, My Dog Sergeant Is a Good Dog… aww.
While at school she taught herself to play the guitar, bass, banjo and vibraphone. Aged 13, she moved away from Chickasaw County to live with her mother in California, but she never forgot her childhood home, and based most of her material from place names around there.
Upon graduating in 1960 she chose her stage name, which was inspired by the 1952 film Ruby Gentry. The heroine of the movie was a girl born into poverty but determined to be successful. Bobbie Gentry meant business.
She started out at local country clubs, and upon moving to Los Angeles to major in philosophy, Gentry would occasionally perform in nightclubs. Blessed with a distinctive beauty, she also worked as a fashion model. She transferred to Los Angeles Conservatory of Music to develop her songwriting. Then in 1967, Capitol Records executive Kelly Gordon heard a demo tape that featured her self-penned Ode to Billie Joe.
Set to nothing more than Gentry strumming a guitar and a string arrangement added after she was signed, this unique tale of a family’s indifference to the news of a local boy’s suicide topped the Billboard chart in the US and made it to number 13 in the UK too. Such was its impact, the Tallahatchie Bridge that Billy Joe jumped off became a popular suicide spot, despite only being 20ft high.
Gentry was catapulted to fame. Her debut album that shared the name of her debut single knocked Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band off the top of the US charts, and she won three Grammy Awards in 1967. And what an inspiration for women – a female artist writing and producing her own material (even if, as Gentry alleged, her name was replaced by male producers in the credits) was extremely rare back then.
Although her second album, The Delta Sweete (1968) didn’t perform as well, the concept album based on life in the Deep South was loved by critics, and it was around this time the UK really took to Gentry. She even had her own BBC series, despite the fact none of her singles and albums were charting here. She also released a joint album with Glenn Campbell that year, too.
In a sign that the well was perhaps running dry, her 1969 album Touch ‘Em with Love consisted mostly of covers, and among those was its second single, I’ll Never Fall in Love Again.
It wasn’t unusual for Gentry to release covers – she recorded several Beatles songs – but I’ll Never Fall in Love Again was a rather MOR choice for such a hip, edgy feminist singer. It sounds like something from the mid-60s, which, whenever I’ve heard it crop up anywhere, is when I assumed it was released, and that Gentry was some swinging-60s, doe-eyed pop star. I’m going to guess that her management were keen on edging her towards a more light entertainment vein, to capitalise on her BBC series in the UK.
It opens well, with its pretty melody and great, memorable lyrics, and Gentry’s vocal is all wide-eyed melancholy. She sounds a little like Dusty Springfield, but also slightly off, and it turns out she had a cold when she recorded it. It’s very typical Bacharach and David, with clever lyrics offsetting the sugary-sweet tune. I’d argue it’s not one of their best songs though, and now I know it’s from a musical, perhaps that explains it. It may work better in the context of the show, which concerns a junior executive who aims to climb the corporate ladder by letting his apartment be used by his married superiors to conduct affairs. The final lines ‘So, for at least until tomorrow/I’ll never fall in love again’ are smart, but it outstays its welcome after the first minute. Had it been released a few years previous, my appreciation may have been higher.
But yes, the most interesting thing about this number 1 is the singer, and what happened next to Bobbie Gentry. Her follow-up single, Fancy, is considered by her fans to be perhaps her definitive work. A semi-autobiographical Southern Gothic track combined women’s lib with another catchy melody that blurred the lines of country, pop and soul. A number 1 in Canada, for some reason it failed to chart here, but became a hit for Reba McEntire.
Weirdly, her next album, also called Fancy, was renamed I’ll Never Fall in Love Again in the UK and featured a different track listing, to capitalise on her number 1, meaning it featured on two LPs in a row here.
In 1971 Gentry released her seventh and final album, Patchwork. Almost entirely self-penned and self-produced (she finally gained an official credit), it was critically adored, but didn’t sell. The introspective lyrics of the last song, Lookin’ In, suggested it was a final throw of the dice.
Like Elvis Presley, she spent most of the 70s in Las Vegas, with ever-more-elaborate stage shows that changed each year. She had an ‘Elvis spot’ in which she wore a high-collared bell-bottom jumpsuit like ‘the King’. There was also a 30-minute tribute to Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. 1976 saw the release of the film Ode to Billy Joe, inspired by her debut hit, which she re-recorded for the movie.
Then in 1981, she walked out of showbusiness completely. She had just given birth to a son, Tyler, from her failed third marriage, and was caring for former partner and producer Kelly Gordon, co-writer of Frank Sinatra’s That’s Life, who died soon after of lung cancer. Rumours have circulated that, after her brief first marriage to casino magnate Bill Harrah ended in divorce, Gentry was so wealthy she need never work again, and so didn’t, choosing to live in a gated community in Memphis.
Whatever the reasoning behind her permanent disappearance from the public eye, it’s only added to Bobbie Gentry’s mystique. Last year, psychedelic alt-rockers Mercury Rev released their version of her second album The Delta Sweete, which briefly brought her back into the public eye. Now aged 77, it’s unlikely we’ll ever hear from her again. Fair play.
Written by: Burt Bacharach & Hal David
Producer: Kelso Herston
Arranged by: Don Tweedy
Weeks at number 1: 1 (18-24 October)
Gentry rose to international fame in 1967 with her Southern Gothic narrative "Ode to Billie Joe". The track spent four weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and was third in the Billboard year-end chart of 1967, earning Gentry Grammy awards for Best New Artist and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance in 1968.Who sang I'll never fall in love again first? ›
The first recording of "I'll Never Fall in Love Again" to reach any of the charts in Billboard was by Johnny Mathis, whose cover debuted on the magazine's Easy Listening chart in the issue dated May 17, 1969, and reached number 35 over the course of three weeks there.
Her biggest single on the Hot 100 chart is her iconic “I Will Always Love You,” from the soundtrack to her 1992 film debut, The Bodyguard. The track spent a staggering 14 weeks atop the list and at the time was the longest-running No. 1 single in history.What did Billy Joe Mcallister throw off the bridge? ›
The film starred Robby Benson as Billy Joe and Glynnis O'Connor as Bobbie Lee. In the adaptation, the pair throw a rag doll off of the bridge, while a homosexual experience with the owner of the sawmill is established as the reason for Billy Joe's suicide.What can you do when you fall in love? ›
- Take time to name and process your emotions.
- Talk to a friend.
- Pamper yourself.
- Find healthy, fulfilling distractions.
- Be kind to yourself.
- Keep getting to know the person you love.
- Show the person you love that you care.
Not wanting to fall in love can sometimes signify a problem with esteem, attachment, anxiety, or another issue. You might feel anxious about becoming attached to someone and potentially losing them. Or you might have low self-esteem and struggle with feeling that you are unloveable.What do you get when you fall in live? ›
"When you fall in love, your body produces a cocktail of chemicals, including dopamine (for wanting more), noradrenaline (for excitement, focus, and attention), testosterone (for sexual interest and drive), and a drop in serotonin (which can cause that low-key obsessive feeling).Why is Bobbie Gentry so rich? ›
She was one of the original owners of the NBA's Phoenix suns, owns tens of millions of dollars worth of real estate (mainly in California) and earned more than $3 million in royalties when Reb McEntire covered her song Fancy.Who really wrote Ode to Billy Joe? › Is Ode to Billy Joe a true story? ›
Onstage, before performing “Ode to Billie Joe,” she'd explain that the song was authentic because she did indeed grow up dirt-poor on her grandparents' farm near the Tallahatchie Bridge in Chickasaw County, Mississippi – but also, she'd been studying music and performing since she moved to California at 13 years old.
Kissing causes a chemical reaction in your brain, including a burst of the hormone oxytocin. It's often referred to as the “love hormone,” because it stirs up feelings of affection and attachment. According to a 2013 study, oxytocin is particularly important in helping men bond with a partner and stay monogamous.What song did Dua Lipa copy for love again? ›
The song samples "My Woman" by Al Bowlly with Lew Stone and His Monseigneur Band, using it for several aspects, thus Bing Crosby, Max Wartell and Irving Wallman are also credited as writers.Is Lonnie Donegan still alive? › What is the most sold song ever? ›
According to Guinness World Records, Irving Berlin's "White Christmas" (1942) as performed by Bing Crosby is the best-selling single worldwide, with estimated sales of over 50 million copies.Who is the highest selling singer of all time? ›
Top-selling artists worldwide as of 2022. Perhaps unsurprisingly, British rock band The Beatles are top of the list for best-selling artists worldwide, with 183 million units certified sales. Second is Garth Brooks with over 157 million units sales, followed by Elvis Presley with 139 million units.What is the #1 best-selling album of all time? ›
Michael Jackson's Thriller, estimated to have sold 70 million copies worldwide, is the best-selling album.Who did Billy Joe McAllister sleep with? ›
One night at a jamboree, McAllister gets drunk and seems nauseated and confused when entering a makeshift brothel behind the gathering. It turns out that in his inebriated state, he had sex with another man, later revealed to be his sawmill boss, Dewey Barksdale (James Best).Is there an actual Tallahatchie Bridge? › Who jumped off the Tallahatchie River bridge? ›
Why did Billie Joe McAllister jump off the Tallahatchie Bridge?How do you know if someone secretly loves you? ›
- He Craves Quality Time With You. This is probably one of the main signs he secretly loves you. ...
- He Can't Stop Staring At You. ...
- He Remembers the Tiniest Details About You. ...
- He Always Tries to Impress You. ...
- He Barely Uses His Phone While Around You. ...
- He Includes You in His Future Plans, Always.
- He does things for you when you least expect them. ...
- He is always curious to know more about you. ...
- If you're happy, he's happy. ...
- He makes you a part of his life. ...
- He sees a future with you.
- He's no longer affectionate with you.
- He spends a lot of time alone or out of the house.
- He doesn't really engage in conversation with you anymore.
- He's become closed off.
- He no longer goes out of his way to care for your relationship.
- Identify what's changed.
People who are aromantic, also known as “aro,” don't develop romantic attractions for other people.What do you call a person who Cannot fall in love? ›
Philophobia — a fear of love — can negatively affect your ability to have meaningful relationships. A painful breakup, divorce, abandonment or rejection during childhood or adulthood may make you afraid to fall in love. Psychotherapy (talk therapy) can help you overcome this specific phobic disorder.What stops people from falling in love? ›
- Fear of intimacy. Is there a point part way into any relationship where you start to experience feelings of panic? ...
- Low self-worth. ...
- Dependency. ...
- Abandonment issues. ...
- Codependency. ...
- Attachment issues. ...
- Childhood abuse. ...
- Addictive behaviours.
Physical attraction, sexual compatibility, empathy, and emotional connection are key to making a man fall in love with a woman.What happens inside your body when you fall in love? ›
High levels of dopamine and a related hormone, norepinephrine, are released during attraction. These chemicals make us giddy, energetic, and euphoric, even leading to decreased appetite and insomnia – which means you actually can be so “in love” that you can't eat and can't sleep.What type of woman does a player fall in love with? ›
Although players are drawn to all kinds of women, there are certain characteristics they are majorly drawn to: Women who are desperate to have a man to call theirs top the list. Do not confuse this with asking a man out. Some men find women who ask them out bold and attractive.What is Dolly Parton worth? ›
'” That self-confidence has paved her way to financial success. In August 2021, Forbes estimated the singer-songwriter's net worth at $350 million.What is the net worth of Billy Joe? ›
What is Billy Joe Armstrong's net worth? Billie Joe Armstrong has a $75-million-dollar net worth. The punk rock band Green Day is where Armstrong is best known for singing lead, but he has also played in the groups Pinhead Gunpowder, The Coverups, Foxboro Hot Tubs, The Longshot, and The Network.
As of December 2022, Bobby Brown's net worth is estimated to be $2 Million. Robert “Bobby” Barisford Brown is an American R&B singer, songwriter, dancer, and actor from Boston.What's the meaning behind Ode to Billy Joe? ›
In this song, a family finds out about the death of Billie Joe and shares gossip about him at the dinner table along with their other mundane concerns. Bobbie Gentry explained: "The message of the song revolves around the nonchalant way the family talks about the suicide. The song is a study in unconscious cruelty."Does Amazon Prime have Ode to Billy Joe? ›
Ode to Billy Joe, a lgbtq movie starring Robby Benson, Glynnis O'Connor, and Joan Hotchkis is available to stream now. Watch it on Prime Video, Vudu or Apple TV on your Roku device.Why is it called Ode to Joy? ›
It's a tune about peace: Ode to Joy represents the triumph of universal brotherhood against war and desperation. Indeed, Beethoven himself put to music a poem that praises and wishes for freedom and peace between all peoples.Where is the bridge that Billy Joe McAllister jumped off? ›
On this date, Billie Joe McAllister jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge in Leflore County and a song was made in his memory. The song was recorded by Bobbie Gentry, who was born in Chickasaw County, Mississippi.Is there really a Choctaw Ridge? ›
Choctaw Ridge is a real area in Webster County, and the sleepy, dusty Delta is real.What does Tallahatchie River represent? ›
The river has historical significance due to the 1955 murder of Emmett Till, an African-American boy visiting from Chicago, who was brutally murdered by white men in Money, Mississippi, for allegedly whistling at a white woman.What comes after kissing? ›
Kissing causes a chemical reaction in your brain, including a burst of the hormone oxytocin. It's often referred to as the “love hormone,” because it stirs up feelings of affection and attachment. According to a 2013 study, oxytocin is particularly important in helping men bond with a partner and stay monogamous.What kiss do guys like the most? ›
- Nose kiss.
- Wrist kiss.
- Light peck.
- Lip kiss.
- French kiss.
- Nibble kiss.
- Kiss on the neck.
- Earlobe kiss.
- Blow Your Mind (Mwah) [Dua Lipa] – 598,000. ...
- No Lie [Dua Lipa] – 517,000. ...
- Love Again [Future Nostalgia] – 497,000. ...
- We're Good [Future Nostalgia] – 428,000. ...
- Hotter than Hell [Dua Lipa] – 335,000. ...
- Hallucinate [Future Nostalgia] – 319,000. ...
- Fever [Future Nostalgia] – 318,000.
Dua Lipa broke through in the UK with her 2016 single Hotter than Hell. She has since collaborated with the likes of Sean Paul and Martin Garrix. She scored her first Number 1 single in August 2017 with New Rules.What songs has Dua Lipa copied? ›
Russell Brown and Sandy Linzer accused Lipa of copying both their 1979 song “Wiggle and Giggle All Night” and 1980 song “Don Diablo,” two tracks dating from the disco era.Who is Donegan? ›
Donegan (Irish: Ó Donnagáin), most commonly refers to a Gaelic Irish clan from Munster. The name is diminutive of Donn which means, "the Dark One", or in modern Irish, "brown", referring to hair colour.What happened Lonnie Donegan? ›
On this day in 2002, Lonnie Donegan, known as the king of skiffle and the inspiration behind bands such as The Beatles and The Who, died after collapsing midway through a British tour. Glasgow-born Donegan died in Peterborough. He was 71 and had suffered several heart attacks.Did Lonnie Donegan have children? ›
Lonnie DoneganWhat is Bobby Brown's most famous song? ›
- Good Enough. Bobby Brown. 10.17.92. ...
- Every Little Step. Bobby Brown. 03.25.89. ...
- Rock Wit'cha. Bobby Brown. 08.26.89. ...
- On Our Own (From "Ghostbusters II") Bobby Brown. 06.10.89. ...
- Humpin' Around. Bobby Brown. 08.08.92. ...
- She Ain't Worth It. Glenn Medeiros Featuring Bobby Brown. 05.19.90. ...
- Roni. Bobby Brown. 01.07.89. ...
- Get Away. Bobby Brown. 01.16.93.
The composer Michael Masser with Whitney Houston. Together they made hits. Michael Masser, a stockbroker-turned-composer whose lush melodies were recorded by Whitney Houston, Diana Ross, Roberta Flack and many other star vocalists, died on Thursday at his home in Rancho Mirage, Calif. He was 74.What was Billy Ray Cyrus's number one hit? ›
Billy Ray Cyrus (born August 25, 1961) is an American country singer and actor. He has released 16 studio albums and 53 singles since 1992, and is known for his hit single "Achy Breaky Heart", which topped the U.S. Hot Country Songs chart and became the first single ever to achieve triple platinum status in Australia.What was Bobby Sherman's number one song? ›
"I Got You (I Feel Good)" - 1965
This is probably James Brown's most widely known hit. The song was the biggest hit of his first major pop breakthrough period in the mid-1960s.
Bobby Brown's favorite song is Surf Crazy, she told teen vouge this in an interview.What is the hardest Whitney Houston song to sing? ›
“I Will Always Love You” by Whitney Houston
However, Whitney's original version is still the most difficult to sing. This ballad requires a lot of vocal control and power, making it Houston's most iconic performance. It is the soundtrack for the movie The Bodyguard.
Paul McCartney (32) and John Lennon (26), of The Beatles, rank first and second, respectively, for having written the most Hot 100 No.What song has been number 1 for the longest? ›
|Number of weeks||Artist(s)||Song|
|16||Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee featuring Justin Bieber||"Despacito"|
|15||Harry Styles||"As It Was"|
|14||Whitney Houston||"I Will Always Love You"|
|Boyz II Men||"I'll Make Love to You"|
In the Hot 100 era, The Beatles hold the record for the most number-one hits with 20 different chart leaders. They're followed closely by Mariah Carey, who has had 19 songs reach number-one.What song was in the number 1 spot for the longest? ›
"Old Town Road" holds the record for the longest stretch at No. 1 with 19 weeks. It also became the fastest song in history to be certified diamond.Did Bob Dylan have a number 1 hit? ›
1 song on a Billboard chart under his name. “Murder Most Foul,” the iconic singer-songwriter's nearly 17-minute chronicle of the 1963 assassination of President John F.Did Tom Petty ever have a number one hit? ›
He first hit No. 1 with “The Waiting” in 1981, and his final No. 1 during his lifetime, “You Don't Know How It Feels,” topped the list in 1994. 3: The peak position of Petty's highest-charting song on the Billboard Hot 100, “Stop Draggin' My Heart Around,” with Stevie Nicks in 1981.Did Black Sabbath ever have a number one hit? ›
Neither Sabbath nor Ozzy had ever reached Number One – Ozzy's 2007 album Black Rain peaked at Number Three and the band's 1971 Master of Reality hit Number Eight.