Born Roberta Streeter July 17, 1944 in Chickasaw County, Mississippi. Bobbie learned to play piano listening to the pianist at church and later taught herself banjo, guitar, bass and vibes while still a teenager. She performed in local clubs to help pay for college and attended the Los Angeles Conservatory of Music.
After graduation she adopted the name Bobbie Gentry from the title of the movie "Ruby Gentry." Her best known hit is probably "Ode to Billy Joe", the first single she recorded after signing with Capitol records in 1967. The song is the basis for the 1976 movie of the same name.
Her popularity began to wane in the U.S. towards the early '70s, until strangely enough, she recorded a cover of Burt Bacharach's "I'll Never Fall In Love Again." The cover was a big hit in the U.K. leading to several TV performances and a stint as an MC for Armed Forces Radio. She essentially retired some time in the mid to late '70s and no longer does public performances.