Greenwood in Leflore County, Mississippi — The American South (East South Central)
Born Roberta Lee Streeter in Chickasaw County (1944) and spending her childhood here, Bobbie Gentry brought the accents, sounds and images of Delta life into scores of haunting songs she wrote and records she made, to become one of the most influential country and pop artists of the 1960s and ‘70s. With her phenomenal Number One hit “Ode to Billie Joe” and complex, innovative albums such as The Delta Sweete, she brought the sultry musical flavors of Mississippi country to the world.
Bobbie Gentry Although in interviews she granted, Gentry gave her birth name as Roberta Lee Streeter and the year as 1944, she was actually born on her family’s Chickasaw County farm near Woodland on July 27, 1942, as Bobby Lee Streeter. Her parents divorced when she was very young, and she was raised there by her Streeter grandparents until she entered school here in Greenwood, where her father resided. Attracted to blues, country and particularly gospel music even as a child, she taught herself to play piano by observing the church choir pianist and was writing songs by the age of seven. Gentry, reared in poverty, later referred to her rural upbringing as a privilege, and worked the flavors and rhythms of the Delta into the heart of her music.
She moved to California
Her albums The Delta Sweete and Local Gentry in 1968 and Fancy and Patchwork in 1970 offered striking, original southern gothic ballads and lush, pop musical settings of her own devising, but were only marginally successful. She returned to the Top Twenty in country and pop with duet versions of the Everly
Erected 2013 by the Mississippi Country Music Trail, U.S. DOT(FHA), & MS DOT. (Marker Number 24.)
Marker series. This marker is included in the Mississippi Country Music Trail marker series.
Location. 33° 32.335′ N, 90° 11.606′ W. Marker is in Greenwood, Mississippi, in Leflore County. Marker is on Grand Boulevard (County Road 518) 0.1 miles north of Rosemary Lane, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1401 Grand Boulevard, Greenwood MS 38930, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies Greenwood (approx. 1.4 miles away); Greenwood Cotton Row District (approx. 1.4 miles away); Point LeFlore (approx. 1.4 miles away); LeFlore County Confederate Memorial (approx. 1.4 miles away); First United Methodist Church (approx. 1½ miles away); WGRM Radio Studio (approx. 1½ miles away); Old Greenwood Cemetery (approx. 1½ miles away); Battery 'C' (approx. 1½ miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Greenwood.
Also see . . .
1. Bobbie Gentry biography. (Submitted on September 16, 2014, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
2. Story behind Bobbie Gentry’s “Ode To Billie Joe”. (Submitted on September 16, 2014, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
3. Mississippi Country Music Trail. (Submitted on September 17, 2014.)
Categories. • Arts, Letters, Music • Entertainment • Women •
Credits. This page was last revised on April 27, 2018. This page originally submitted on September 16, 2014, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 518 times since then and 67 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on September 16, 2014, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.