Ever Seen the Original Video for Fancy? Reba Almost Didn’t Cut It
Thursday night, October 13th in Lafayette's Cajundome sometime just before 10 pm I suppose it will happen. The arena will go dark while the crowd goes wild then it will happen. Reba McEntire will take the stage in a very low cut, high slit red dress and the Cajundome crowd will lose its mind. Yes, that's when Reba will close out her show with Fancy.
How do we know Reba will do that? Well, we don't actually but based on previous history and comments from the legend herself, we know Fancy is going to be the encore. But did you know there is a sordid story behind the song Fancy? It's such an amazing tale that Reba almost wasn't allowed to cut the song and put it on an album.
First things first, let's go back to the original version of the song, Fancy. It was penned by Bobbie Gentry. Gentry was an incredible writer of story songs in country music. You're probably familiar with what happened on the 3rd of June, another sleepy, dusty Delta day?
That's the day Billie Joe MacAllister jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge, according to the lyrics for Ode to Billie Joe which was a smash hit for Gentry as a writer and as a singer. She also wrote the lyrics to Fancy and in 1969, she actually released the song as a single. Here's Bobbie Gentry performing Fancy on the Johnny Cash Show. I think this is from 1969 as well.
How is that for the late 60s and early 70s mod and cool? Bobbie opted for the Tanya Tuckeresque tight jumpsuit, come on, you know that album cover.
Fast forward a few years and it's 1990 and up and coming star Reba McEntire is searching for songs for a new album. She's always loved the song Fancy but her record label doesn't.
While Reba and her producer Tony Brown are pushing really hard for the song to be included in McEntire's Rumor Has It LP the label executives don't think having their rising superstar cut a song about glorifying prostitution is a good career choice.
Fortunately for us, Reba and Tony won the battle and the record label won the war because Fancy is Reba's signature hit. And the label sold a lot of records.
Reba now closes out every show with the song for one reason. Reba says she just loves it. She loves the rags to riches tale and she loves the fact that when she sings Fancy, she becomes Fancy Rae Baker.
We look forward to seeing you at the Cajundome Thursday night when Reba, Fancy, and Terri Clark will raise the newly cleaned roof to a whole new level. I just hope I can get a reservation in the Chinese restaurant that's on top of the 'Dome before the show.
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