Bobbie Gentry

Technically, Bobbie Gentry is not a country artist but she was an enormous influence on the genre, regardless. Her song “Ode to Billie Joe” was a #1 pop hit and a Top 20 hit in every other genre of music with radio stations that played it, which was basically every genre except classical and gospel. It influenced English-language music in general, forcing songwriters across the board to up their game. One of the biggest country hits in history, “Harper Valley PTA,” was a direct attempt at replicating the success of “Ode to Billie Joe.”

Bobbie’s song “Fancy” became a country hit for Reba McEntire many years after the original. Hear more about Bobbie Gentry in the episodes below.

Tyler Mahan Coe Cocaine Rhinestones Season 1 Q&A

BONUS: Cocaine & Rhinestones Season 1 Q&A

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As promised, here is the bonus Q&A Episode for Season 1.

You might think, “How could anyone finish a season of a podcast like Cocaine & Rhinestones and have questions? That guy saturates every episode with details like he’s getting paid by the fact.”

There’s always more to know. Just remember, don’t ask a question if you don’t want the answer. From the FAQs down to the minutiae of, well, whatever anyone wanted to know, it’s all here. Like, how does one even go about making a podcast on such a huge subject as the history of country music? Whose “fault” is pop country, really? Is this Merle Haggard song communist? Is that Merle Haggard song racist? There had to be more men banned from country radio, right? One at a time, people. One at a time…

Who’s ready to learn some stuff? Let’s do it.

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CR013 Rusty & Doug Kershaw: Swamp Things

CR013 Rusty & Doug Kershaw: The Cajun Way

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Doug Kershaw is the most famous Cajun musician in history. His brother, Rusty, is not, though you may be more familiar with his work than you realize. 

These brothers come from a long tradition of surviving against the odds, against a world that would just as soon see you dead as see you succeed. Starting from nothing but a houseboat in Louisiana, they fought their way through an unscrupulous industry, through honky tonk stages screened off with chicken wire, onto the biggest stages in the business, in order to create some of the greatest music ever made. Then, they battled themselves, their past and their addictions.

Side note: what the hell is “Cajun”? Swamp stuff, right? Well, let’s talk about all of that.

This episode is recommend for fans of: Hardcore History, Neil Young, Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan and discovering unbelievably good music that you’ve never heard.

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Bobbie Gentry

CR004 Bobbie Gentry: Exit Stage Left

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In 1967, Bobbie Gentry’s recording of a song she wrote, called “Ode to Billie Joe,” directly influenced the future of every major musical genre in America. In the early ’80s, she disappeared.

What happened in the decade between?

Why did Bobbie Gentry vanish?

Who was she, even?

Since we can’t ask Bobbie for answers, these are mysteries we either have to learn to live with or try to solve for ourselves.

People you’ll hear about in this episode: Glen Campbell, Elvis Presley, Jim Stafford, Nick Lowe, Kanye West, Eminem, Drake, Lauryn Hill, Snoop, A Tribe Called Quest, Jody Reynolds, Rick Hall, Lou Donaldson, Sheryl Crow, kd lang, Lucinda Williams, Alfred Hitchcock, Barry White, Bobby Womack, Burt Bacharach and, believe it or not, more.

Also, you may not like what you hear if you’re a fan of Jim Ford.

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