On the third of June 1967, the Southern gothic ballad 'Ode to Billie Joe,' first hit the airwaves. Since then the song has captivated American pop culture in a way few ever have. The song was written and sung by an unknown young woman from Mississippi named Bobbie Gentry (born Roberta Lee Streeter).
It sold tens of millions of copies. It knocked the Beatles off the top of the charts. It spawned a 1976 movie. The song's iconic success also helped launch one of the most enduring riddles in pop: Whatever happened to Bobbie Gentry?