Jim Boggia and friends release video of "Ode to Billie Joe"
Jim Boggia, Allison Polans and Sarah Larsen | photo by Tara Murtha

It’s the 3rd of June, a date earmarked in musical history as the day “Billie Joe McCallister jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge.” Local writer Tara Murtha explored the mysteries and subtleties of Bobbie Gentry’s seminal Ode to Billie Joe in her book of the same name, published last year in conjunction with Bloomsbury’s 33 1/3 series.

At the time, Murtha and a group of musicians, dubbed The Lower 40, brought the songs of Gentry back to life for a Free at Noon performance. Today they’ve released a video of the title track through Jim Boggia’s Patreon project and Alkemy X, which you can watch below.

The video features Boggia on ukulele, Phil D’Agostino on bass, Sarah Larsen on violin and Allison Polans on vocals, performing an eerily poignant version of “Ode to Billie Joe” that will throw you back to that dusty Delta day.

Murtha and the musicians will talk about Bobbie Gentry on Dan Reed’s “Copy That” segment this evening at 6:00 p.m. Tune into 88.5 FM or stream online at XPN.org. Check out the video below and learn more about Murtha’s book here.

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