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Philly writer Tara Murtha takes on the legend of Bobbie Gentry


One of our all time favorite journalists in Philly is Tara Murtha. Chances are you’ve probably read at least one of the many cover stories she’s written for the Philadelphia Weekly over the years. While she focuses on issues of social justice, Murtha is also a passionate music fan and occasionally writes about music.

One of her long time musical obsessions has been the legendary Bobbie Gentry, whose song “Ode To Billie Joe” was a number one hit song in 1967. Murtha is currently working on a book about Gentry called Bobbie Gentry: Ode to Billie Joe that will be published in 2014 by Bloomsbury Academic’s acclaimed 33 1/3 Books, a series exploring a range of iconic records. Launched in September 2003, the series now contains 86 titles and had explored albums like Dusty In Memphis by Dusty Springfield (written by Warren Zanes), The Replacements’ Let It Be (written by Colin Meloy of The Decemberists) , OK Computer by Radiohead (written by Dai Griffiths) and other classics. The most recent book is on the Talking Heads’ Fear Of Music written by Jonathan Lethem.

Bobbie Gentry’s story is filled with a few facts and a lot of mystique. Continue reading →