500 Greatest Songs of All Time

Rolling Stone's definitive list of the 500 greatest songs of all time.

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Bobbie Gentry, 'Ode to Billie Joe'

419. Bobbie Gentry, 'Ode to Billie Joe'

Writer: Gentry
Producers: Kelly Gordon, Bobby Paris
Released: July '67, Capitol
14 weeks; No. 1

Once and for all: Exactly what did Billie Joe throw off the Tallahatchee Bridge? Gentry never revealed the secret of this spooky country blues. "The real message," she said, "revolves around the way the nonchalant family talks about the suicide."

Appears on: Greatest Hits (Curb)

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