The Third of June rolls by again. That makes 48 Thirds of Junes since the song “Ode to Billie Joe” came out in 1967. And Bobbie Gentry, born Roberta Lee Streeter, is said to be living in seclusion in Los Angeles. If alive, she is 71 years old.
She once owned a piece of the Phoenix Suns, but hasn’t since 1987. She never told us what the girl and Billie Joe threw off the bridge, but said the real meaning of the song was about nonchalance and indifference, a family talking casually about a seeming suicide while not realizing the fellow’s girlfriend was right there at the table. (That does seem downright Faulkneresque, if not Kafkaesque, to me.)
Anyway–I was a fan. I watched “The Bobbie Gentry Happiness Hour” as few others did. I think “Ode to Billie Joe” is a classic. And I imagine many will remember her, this Third of June . . .