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Ode to Billie Joe released in the UK

Released Feb 12

Ode to Billie Joe was officially released in the UK this week! 
Here is the link to the Amazon UK page... but please do let me know if you see it out and about in the UK wild. The UK release is particularly exciting because Bobbie Gentry had a HUGE following abroad. In fact, she was arguably more popular in the UK than in the States, where her debut album was in such high demand that Capitol Records pre-ordered five times the previous preorder record--which was Meet the Beatles, in 1964. Her UK popularity is due in part to the general interest in American country music there--something I find really fascinating--and also that Bobbie hosted her own show  on the BBC from 1968 to 1971. She stayed in London for six weeks at a time for several years. 
I'm particularly jazzed about this piece written by Audrey White published today in The Quietus, which explores Bobbie Gentry's role as a pioneer in the ongoing story of feminism in American country music. 
From The Quietus:

Country music has always been home to strong women who made their names with feminist and protofeminist songs — think Kitty Wells' 'It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels', Loretta Lynn's 'The Pill' and much of Dolly Parton's oeuvre. That tradition continues today with Maddie & Tae and Miranda Lambert recently serving up breakout hits that took on bro country and condemn domestic violence, respectively.

On the fringe of the collective memory of this complex tradition of feminism in the country music world, there's Bobbie Gentry.

Shut it down. I think Audrey nailed it. 

Feel free to contact me about events in the UK, everybody. I've been craving Hobnob biscuits since 1996, when I spent New Year's Eve singing "Hey Jude" with a circle of strangers at midnight in a pub in Covent Garden.

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