Even though "Go Ask Alice" was unmasked as not really an autobiography, it was still a good book. I gave it to my dd recently.
Ode To Billy Joe . . . . I don't remember the rag doll part and I sing that song on a regular basis since I listen to oldies . . .and Billy Joe did die, at least in the song. Also, I've always thought it was a baby they tossed off the bridge - their baby. My former sister-in-law's husband used to play guitar in Bobbie Gentry's band in the 60's and early 70's. I'll have to email him and see what the story is.
Ode to Billie Joe
is a 1967 album
written and performed by Bobbie Gentry
, a singer-songwriter
from Chickasaw County
. Released as a single in late July, the album's title track was a massive number-one hit in the USA
and became a big international seller.
This Southern Gothic
song recounts the night when Billie Joe McAllister committed suicide
by jumping off the Tallahatchie
Bridge on Choctaw Ridge, Mississippi. The song is noteworthy for the mysteries surrounding the events: Why did Billie Joe jump off the bridge? What did he and the narrator throw off the bridge shortly before his suicide? Both questions led to much speculation at the time. In 1975, Gentry told author Herman Raucher
that she hadn't come up with a reason for Billie Joe's suicide when she wrote the song. She has stated in numerous interviews over the years that the focus of the song was not the suicide itself, but rather the matter-of-fact way that the narrator's family was discussing the tragedy over dinner, unconcerned that Billie Joe had been her boyfriend. "Ode" was so popular in 1967 that Frank Sinatra
, who loved it, asked jazz great Ella Fitzgerald
to sing a few verses for his TV special. The recording of "Ode to Billie Joe" generated eight Grammy nominations, including four wins. Bolstered by a perfectly judged arrangement of strings and acoustic guitar, the single creates a haunting and atmospheric universe in a category all its own. The popular consensus at the release of the song in 1967 was that the narrator and Billie Joe threw a baby off the bridge.