"It was the 3rd of June, another sleepy, dusty Delta day."
This is the opening line of Ode to Billie Joe, a haunting song that captivated the entire country and made a young woman from Mississippi by the name of Bobbie Gentry an icon.
Gentry sang of a Mississippi family sitting around a dinner table discussing the suicide of Billie Joe McAllister and the mystery surrounding it. The single sold millions of copies and made it to the top of the music charts beating out the Beatles.
Thanks to her new found fame, the then 22-year-old singer found her way to Sin City to perform alongside the likes of Elvis and Tom Jones.
She enjoyed immense success for years to come including multiple Grammy awards, a Vegas residency, a TV show titled The Bobbie Gentry Happiness Hour and chart-topping hits with Glen Campbell.
In 1981, Gentry dazzled during a performance on Bob Hope’s All-star Salute to Mother’s Day then she vanished.
At the height of her career, Gentry stopped performing. She also quit recording new material, giving interviews and making public appearances. She didn't release a statement or make any public announcements about going on hiatus or plans to retire. She simply disappeared without a trace.
Find out what happened to Bobbie Gentry and why she became a recluse on the next page.