Bobbie Gentry in the studio at Muscle Shoals
If you have been following the blog or podcast, you will already know that I’m a big fan of John Buck Wilkin, especially his 1970 LP ‘In Search Of Food Clothing Shelter And Sex’.
Wilkin, who had one of the most interesting careers of the 1960s, only recorded two albums under his own name, with ‘In Search Of Food Clothing Shelter And Sex’ being the first.
What is especially interesting, is that even though the record was not commercially successful, it spawned a number of interesting cover versions.
Though Wilkin was himself a talented songwriter and performer, this publishing reach may have had something to do with the fact that his mother, Marijohn Wilkin was a very successful songwriter, and his close friend, Kris Kristofferson, was, well….Kris Kristofferson.
Among those artists that chose to cover songs from ‘In Search Of Food Clothing Shelter And Sex’., were Odetta, Hedge and Donna, Newbury Park, Randy Horan, Wayne Newton and a group called the California Earthquake.
Today’s selection is yet another cover of a song from that album, by none other than Bobbie Gentry.
Gentry’s version of ‘Apartment 21’, released in 1970 was a non-album single, and was a minor hit in a number of regional markets.
Her take on the song, recorded in Muscle Shoals with Rick Hall, has a slightly more country feeling to it than the original. The arrangement, with subtle layers of strings and woodwinds, as well as some interesting fuzz guitar, does justice to the original.
It’s a great example of Wilkin’s talents as a songwriter.
If you go back and listen to his work with Ronny and the Daytonas (especially the ‘Sandy’ album) and his two solo records, it makes you wonder what he might have been capable of if his work had been met with the popularity it deserved.
I hope you dig the cut, and I’ll see you all next week.
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