Bobbie Gentry “I Saw An Angel Die” (Capitol 5992, 1967)
It isn’t that rare that someone has a break-out #1 hit and then the next single goes absolutely nowhere. It may have been crushing to Bobbie Gentry though. After the storybook #1 Smash “Ode To Billy Joe” hung around AM Top 40 at the peak with it’s mix of butter, honey, pepper and Southern Grand Guignol, her next single came and went without a single trace on any chart.
Perhaps it was the mix of Bacharach via the Natchez Trace or the metaphor connection to the supposed death on the monster hit. As the single stands alone it’s quite the fine effort (as is many an item from her debut LP). Regardless, as we celebrate the Country-Soul Superstar’s 71st Birthday, we click play on one of her many ethereal prayers to troubled souls of the world.