THE BITTER SOUTHERNER: BOBBIE GENTRY
"Bobbie Gentry was a little-known 23-year-old singer-songwriter from Woodland, Mississippi, when her song “Ode to Billie Joe” rose to the top of the charts in 1967.  When novelist Mesha Maren started singing along to Gentry’s lyrics as a child in the early ‘90s, she heard a story of the rural South that helped her to find her own voice as a writer."