Duke's Jewelers Blog
October 30th, 2020
Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you great songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, British sensation Adele “turns her sorrow into treasured gold” in one of the most popular tunes of all time, the 2010 international mega-hit, “Rolling in the Deep.” The official music video has been viewed more than 1.74 billion times.



In this powerful song about a scorned woman seeking to turn the tables on a lover who has done her wrong, Adele promises revenge. In the end, she knows her anguish will pale in comparison to the torment he’s about to suffer. She takes great pleasure in plunging him into the depths of despair, and this is where our precious metal reference comes into focus.

She sings, “Turn my sorrow into treasured gold / You’ll pay me back in kind and reap just what you’ve sown.”

Not surprisingly, the song was inspired by the real-life breakup of Adele and her then-boyfriend. It’s been reported that Adele co-wrote the song with Paul Epworth in a single afternoon.

“Rolling in the Deep,” which was the lead single from Adele’s breakthrough album 21, quickly became an international sensation. It reached #1 in 12 countries, including the U.S. and Canada. As of 2019, "Rolling in the Deep" has sold 20.6 million copies, making it the best-selling digital single of all-time.

The song won three Grammy Awards in 2012 for Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Best Short Form Music Video. Rolling Stone magazine ranked it #8 on its list of "The 100 Greatest Songs of the 21st Century."

Born in London in 1988, Adele Laurie Blue Adkins began singing at the age of four and eventually attended the prestigious — and free — BRIT School for Performing Arts & Technology.

Four months after graduation, a friend posted a few of Adele's demo songs on Myspace, which led to a meeting with an executive from XL Recordings. She signed a record deal with the company in 2006 at the age of 18.

During her 14-year career, Adele has sold 120 million singles and secured her reputation as one of the most successful recording artists of all time.

Trivia: The mind-boggling viewer count for "Rolling in the Deep" (1.74 billion) fails to crack the list of the Top 30 most-viewed YouTube music videos of all time. The #1 spot is held by "Despacito" with 7.03 billion views. "Baby Shark Dance" is close behind at 7.00 billion views.

We invite you to watch the official music video of Adele's “Rolling in the Deep.” The lyrics are below if you’d like to sing along...

“Rolling in the Deep”
Written by Adele Laurie Blue Adkins and Paul Richard Epworth. Performed by Adele.

There’s a fire starting in my heart,
Reaching a fever pitch and it’s bringing me out the dark.
Finally, I can see you crystal clear,
Go ahead and sell me out and I’ll lay your ship bare,
See how I’ll leave with every piece of you,
Don’t underestimate the things that I will do.

There’s a fire starting in my heart,
Reaching a fever pitch and it’s bringing me out the dark.
The scars of your love remind me of us,
They keep me thinking that we almost had it all.
The scars of your love, they leave me breathless,
I can’t help feeling,

We could have had it all,
(Your gonna wish you, never had met me)
Rolling in the deep,
(Tears are gonna fall, rolling in the deep)
You had my heart inside your hand,
(You’re gonna wish you never had met me)
And you played it to the beat.
(Tears are gonna fall, rolling in the deep)

Baby, I have no story to be told,
But I’ve heard one on you and I’m gonna make your head burn,
Think of me in the depths of your despair
Making a home down there as mine sure won’t be shared,

The scars of your love remind me of us,
(You’re gonna wish you never had met me)
They keep me thinking that we almost had it all.
(Tears are gonna fall, rolling in the deep)
The scars of your love, they leave me breathless,
(You’re gonna wish you never had met me)
I can’t help feeling,
(Tears are gonna fall, rolling in the deep)

We could have had it all,
(You’re gonna wish you never had met me)
Rolling in the deep.
(Tears are gonna fall, rolling in the deep)
You had my heart inside your hand,
(You’re gonna wish you never had met me)
And you played it to the beat.
(Tears are gonna fall, rolling in the deep)

Could have had it all,
Rolling in the deep,
You had my heart inside of your hands,
But you played it with a beating.

Throw your soul through every open door,
Count your blessings to find what you look for.
Turn my sorrow into treasured gold,
You’ll pay me back in kind and reap just what you’ve sown.

(You’re gonna wish you never had met me)
We could have had it all,
(Tears are gonna fall, rolling in the deep)
We could have had it all.
(You’re gonna wish you never had met me),
It all, it all, it all.
(Tears are gonna fall, rolling in the deep)

We could have had it all,
(You’re gonna wish you never had met me)
Rolling in the deep.
(Tears are gonna fall, rolling in the deep)
You had my heart inside of your hand,
(You’re gonna wish you never had met me)
And you played it to the beat.
(Tears are gonna fall, rolling in the deep)

Could have had it all,
(You’re gonna wish you never had met me)
Rolling in the deep.
(Tears are gonna fall, rolling in the deep)
You had my heart inside of your hands,
(You’re gonna wish you never had met me

But you played it,
You played it,
You played it,
You played it to the beat.


Credit: Photo by Kristopher Harris from Charlotte, NC, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons.
October 29th, 2020
Back in 2016, Gwen Stefani musically declared her love for boyfriend and country star Blake Shelton by comparing him to a sapphire in her sweetly smitten confessional, “Rare.”



She sang, “You’re a sapphire, you’re a rolling stone / You’re a sparkle in a deep black hole / You’re like moon shine, when the curtains close / You’re my answer, one that no one knows.”

Now four years later, Shelton has returned the sentiment in a big way by popping the question with a head-turning diamond ring. Jewelry-industry experts placed the diamond weight at somewhere between 6 and 10 carats, and the ring's value in the range of $500,000 to $800,000. The white metal is likely platinum, and the stone shape seems to be either round or oval.



On Tuesday, Stefani's 10.6 million Instagram followers were the first to learn about her engagement via a photo showing her and Shelton sharing a kiss. By zooming in, we can see that the diamond is nearly the width of her finger.

Punctuated by two emojis — a diamond ring and praying hands — her caption simply read, "@blakeshelton yes please!" The post already has earned more than 1.3 million likes.

On Shelton's Instagram page, which has a following of four million fans, the 44-year-old posted the exact same photo and added this sweet message, "Hey @gwenstefani thanks for saving my 2020… And the rest of my life.. I love you. I heard a YES!"

Hopefully, the social-media-savvy couple will be following up their announcement with clearer, closeup shots of Stefani's new bridal jewelry.

Stefani, 51, and Shelton, 44, began dating in 2015 while they were judges on NBC’s The Voice. Throughout the next five years, the rumor mill buzzed with news of a pending engagement.

On Tuesday, the couple's followers finally got their wish. According to US Weekly, Shelton asked Stefani's dad for his blessing before popping the question to his daughter. An insider told the magazine that "it meant so much to Gwen that Blake was so traditional about it."

The Voice coaches have yet to announce a wedding date.

Credit: Image via Instagram/gwenstefani.
October 28th, 2020
By the slimmest of margins, the 7,801-diamond “Divine” ring recently captured a Guinness World Record for the most diamonds set in a single ring, overtaking the 7,777-diamond “Lotus Temple Ring,” which held the honor for 14 months.



Officially called "The Divine - 7801 Brahma Vajra Kamalam," the ring conceived by India-based jeweler Kotti Srikanth was inspired by the rare Brahma Kamalam flower, which is native to the Himalayas.

"In India we have a tradition of respecting our Gods with garlands of flowers, and individual flowers are used as an offering," noted Srikanth. "The flowers signify the essence of purity."



As seen with the previous record holder, the secret to getting that many diamonds onto a single ring is the layering of diamond-encrusted petals. Srikanth's award winner is composed of six layers of petals, the first five of which have eight petals each, and the last with six petals.

Srikanth, who is owner of Hallmark Jewellers in Hyderabad, began the design process in September 2018. What started as a pencil drawing evolved into CAD rendering by the early part of 2019. The computer-aided design helped confirm the exact number of diamonds that would be needed to complete the piece. It also ensured that the final result would surpass the previous record holder. In May 2019, Srikanth and his team started the tedious process of procuring diamonds for the final piece.

"We have had a great learning experience here and it will encourage us to create new jewelry masterpieces in the future," Srikanth said. "Jewelry is my passion. I simply love creating new concepts and converting them into wearable jewelry."



Valued at $4.9 million, the previous record holder was designed by Mumbai-based Lakshikaa Jewels and inspired by the famous Lotus Temple in Delhi. A team of 12 crafters and one jeweler/designer worked 18 months to complete the project.

Credits: Divine Ring and Lotus Temple Ring images courtesy of Guinness World Records.
October 27th, 2020
The men and women of the New York City Fire Department are known for their harrowing rescues, world-class heroics and bravery. This time, instead of saving New Yorkers from a burning building, the firefighters were tasked with pulling a pair of precious rings from the darkness of a dirty utility grate.



Sue Durham had stowed her bridal jewelry in her handbag as she headed to the subway. But when she reached into the bag for her MetroCard, the engagement ring and wedding band got jostled from the compartment and went tumbling into the 9th Avenue grate in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood of Manhattan.

A panicked Durham immediately called Channel 7 Eyewitness News, who summoned the fire department. The TV station has a long-standing reputation for helping New Yorkers in need.



After surveying the situation, a team of seven firefighters concocted a “fishing” device using a ball of sticky tape dangling from a rope to “catch” the two rings. A small crowd that had gathered at the site clapped when the rings were recovered and returned to Durham.



"I said, 'Let me call Channel 7,'” Durham explained. “And thank God, I got my rings back. I got my rings back."



In this space, we have previously reported on similar incidents regarding lost jewelry in NYC – such as the tourist couple whose romantic engagement went awry when, during the proposal, the man dropped the engagement ring down a subway grate in Times Square. Why was he proposing on a subway grate? Sometimes love makes you do strange things. There was a happy ending – the couple reunited on the Ellen show with the policeman who recovered their ring.

Back in January of 2019, after a spate these incidents, the NYPD went as far as to send out this tongue-in-cheek public service announcement via its Twitter page: “PSA: Attention all newly engaged! Please avoid sewer grates at all cost! Thank you.”

With her two precious rings safely back on her finger, Durham cried tears of joy.

"You guys are going to get the biggest gift basket I can get," she promised.

Credits: Screen captures via abc7ny.com.
October 23rd, 2020
Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you fabulous songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, Pink shows off her style in the 2001 international blockbuster, “Get the Party Started.” In the first verse of her good-time, signature anthem, Pink gives a nod to her fashionable jewelry.



She sings, “I got lots of style, check my gold diamond rings / I can go for miles if you know what I mean / I'm comin' up so you better get this party started.”

Released as the first single from Pink's wildly popular second album called Missundaztood, “Get the Party Started” charted in 24 countries, including an ascent to #4 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and #14 on the Canadian chart. The album sold more than 13 million copies and is her most successful to date. In 2019, digital media company About.com (currently dotdash.com) placed "Get the Party Started" #1 on its list of "The Top 100 Best Party Songs of All Time."

Although “Get the Party Started” is considered Pink’s signature song, songwriter Linda Perry revealed in 2019 that she had originally offered the song to Madonna, who turned it down.

Perry also described how the song quickly came together while she was trying out her new Pro Tools recording equipment, which included numerous virtual instruments, sound effects and mixing capabilities.

"'Get the Party Started' was just me figuring out what all this stuff does," Perry told Rolling Stone magazine. "I came up with that beat, laid it down, found all these weird chords and sounds and put in the horns. Then I went back to my guitar for the wah-wahs. I was just having fun."

"I literally came up with the song in 30 minutes," she told Mix magazine in 2019.

Alecia Beth Moore (better known as Pink) was born in Doylestown, PA, in 1979. Originally a member of the girl group Choice, Pink launched her solo career in 2000 with the single, “There You Go.” The rest is history, as she has gone on to become one of the most successful and influential artists of her generation.

"When Alecia Moore debuted in 2000, pop was dominated by long-locked blonds like Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and Jessica Simpson,” wrote Glamour Magazine. “Pink changed the game."

Pink has earned three Grammy Awards, seven MTV Video Music Awards, seven Billboard Music Awards and one Emmy Award. She has sold more than 90 million records worldwide.

We invite you to put on your dancing shoes and rock out with Pink as she sings “Get the Party Started.” The lyrics are below if you’d like to sing along. And, yes, this is the family-friendly version of the song…

"Get The Party Started"
Written by Linda Perry. Performed by Pink.

I'm comin' up so you better get this party started
I'm comin' up so you better get this party started

Get this party started on a Saturday night
Everybody's waiting for me to arrive
Sendin' out the message to all of my friends
We'll be looking flashy in my Mercedes Benz
I got lots of style, check my gold diamond rings
I can go for miles if you know what I mean
I'm comin' up so you better get this party started
I'm comin' up so you better get this party started

Pumping up the volume, breaking down to the beat
Cruisin' through the west side
We'll be checkin' the scene
Boulevard is freakin' as I'm comin' up fast
I'll be burnin' rubber, you'll be kissin' my ends
Pull up to the bumper, get out of the car
License plate says Stunner #1 Superstar

I'm comin' up so you better get this party started
I'm comin' up so you better get this party started
Get this party started

Making my connection as I enter the room
Everybody's chilling as I set up the groove
Pumpin' up the volume with this brand new beat
Everybody's dancing and they're dancing for me
I'm your operator, you can call anytime
I'll be your connection to the party line

I'm comin' up so you better get this party started
I'm comin' up so you better get this party started
I'm comin' up so you better get this party started
I'm comin' up so you better get this party started
Get this party started
Get this party started right now
Get this party started
Get this party started
Get this party started right now


Credits: Image by Andemaya, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons.
October 22nd, 2020
Back in 2007, actor Dan Aykroyd and artist John Alexander developed a unique vodka that was triple filtered through "Herkimer Diamonds." The proprietary process for making Crystal Head vodka used layers of these stones to extract the impurities that conventional filters could not — delivering a clean, ultra-smooth vodka that was intended to be enjoyed chilled and straight up.



(In an interesting side note, Herkimer Diamonds are not diamonds at all. They're actually double-terminated quartz crystals found in Upstate New York.)

Over the years, premium vodka makers, such as Three Sixty Vodka, Diamond Glacier 33 and Carbonadi, have upped the filtration game to include actual diamonds in the process.

In a 1,500-word essay published a few days ago at The Daily Beast, author Wayne Curtis took on the question of whether diamond filtration could actually change the taste of premium vodka or if the concept was just a clever marketing gimmick.

His conclusion was a resounding "Maybe."

The experts at Liquor.com explained that the process of making vodka has many variables, including the ingredients used to make the mash, the purity of the water, the type of still used to make the alcohol and the container in which the end-product is collected. Vodka that is intended to be sipped straight often requires a certain amount of filtration. Some vodkas are filtered again and again, while others are not filtered at all.

Filters can be made from charcoal, metal, micron paper, lava rocks, coconut carbon or any combination thereof.

According to Curtis, the most luxurious vodkas in the world have one thing in common — diamond filtration.



Three Sixty Vodka, for example, is distilled four times, with suspended particles removed from the distillate using diamond dust.

Diamond Glacier 33 combines premium ingredients, such as glacier water, gluten-free corn mash and a diamond filtration process that passes the vodka over the gemstones eight times.

Carbonadi Vodka is made from organic Italian wheat, Alpine water and a filtration process that passes the vodka five times through activated charcoal. The material is then micro-oxygenated and filtered through carbonados, which are porous black diamonds.

Curtis posed the question, "So can diamonds capture some of those impurities and prevent them from going into the bottle?"

Stephen Haggerty, a distinguished research professor of geophysics at Florida International University, told Curtis that the answer is both "Yes" and "No."

“Here’s the thing,” he told Curtis. “If the filtration is carried out prior to distillation, then all of these non-essential alcohol components — all the oily components — would stick to the diamonds.”

The professor also clarified that, for various scientific reasons, diamond filtration wouldn’t be as effective after distillation.

Ricky Miller III, the co-founder and creative director of Carbonadi Vodka, told Curtis that the carbonados in his filtration system pick up and absorb impurities that aren’t caught in a conventional process.

Curtis reported that Miller is working on a portable diamond filtration device that he will be bringing to bars and trade shows. This will give him an opportunity to win over skeptics with before-and-after tastings.

Credits: Crystal Head Vodka bottle by Globefill Inc., CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons. Crystal Head Vodka filtration photo by Dustintitus, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons. Three Sixty Vodka photo by Willibald11, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons. Diamond Glacier Vodka screen capture via https://33belowspirits.com/. Carbonadi Vodka screen capture via https://houseofcarbonadi.privateclubs.co/.
October 21st, 2020
Bachelorette Clare Crawley sparked engagement rumors when she was spotted by the paparazzi wearing a diamond ring in her hometown of Sacramento, CA, this past week — only days after the airing of the Season 16 premiere.



The intrigue surrounding Crawley's journey to find true love shook the Bachelorette Nation in early August, when a number of celebrity news outlets reported that the 39-year-old, four-time contestant had been smitten by former football player Dale Moss during the first two weeks of shooting. Insiders claimed that she had fallen in love, left the show and had to be replaced by Tayshia Adams.

Shortly after the paparazzi shots surfaced on Monday, Crawley took to her Instagram page to explain to her 660,000 followers that the diamond ring was not an engagement ring, but instead, a symbol of self-love and empowerment.

Alongside an animated selfie, she wrote: "People have noticed I wear this ring on my wedding finger, and have asked why! The truth is because it is a commitment to myself first and foremost, to embody self-love."

She went on to explain that in the past she had found herself in relationships where there was little or no reciprocity.

"And in the end would feel depleted and empty," she wrote. "This is my promise to myself, to make sure I always had enough self-love that no matter what happened, I was committed to loving myself unconditionally, and that is something no man could take away from me. @missdiamondring." She punctuated the post with a red heart emoji.

Earlier in October, Crawley spoke about the same diamond ring during an episode of Bachelor Happy Hour, a Bachelor Nation podcast.

“I wanted to get something for myself that I never have to give back to anybody, that nobody can ever take away from me, that will always be mine and that comes first over anything. So self-love and you know what? I will never ask anything of a man that I can’t get for myself.”

The Bachelorette returned to ABC on Tuesday, October 13, and it was immediately apparent that Crawley was captivated by Moss, a 32-year-old pro athlete-turned model.

“I definitely feel like I just met my husband, I’m shaking,” Crawley said during Episode 1. Not surprisingly, she gave Moss the coveted first impression rose.

She told Us Weekly that her first encounter with Moss was "breathtaking."

Crawley's odyssey continued to play out in last night's episode and viewers came away from it sensing that something big was about to go down.

Credit: Screen capture via Instagram/clarecrawley.
October 20th, 2020
Located in North Carolina's Cabarrus County, the Reed Gold Mine is the site of the first documented gold find in the United States. It was 1799 when a young Conrad Reed scooped up an unusual yellow rock near his family's farm at Little Meadow Creek. For three years, the glittery 17-pound oddity served as a doorstop at the Reed house.



Conrad's father, John, finally decided to take the stone to a Fayetteville jeweler in 1802 and learned that his son's find was actually a giant gold nugget. In today's dollars, the stone was worth more than $517,000.

News of Reed's discovery soon led to a rush of gold production on the Reed property, in nearby counties and in other southern states. At its peak, gold mining was second only to farming as the top employer in North Carolina.

Today, the Reed Gold Mine is a National Historic Landmark and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The site is managed by the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, which offers guided tours of restored underground tunnels that date back to the 1830s. A reconstructed stamp mill — a machine that crushes ore to extract metal from rock — is demonstrated daily. The stamp mill technology dates back to the 1890s.

In addition, visitors get learn how to pan for gold. The last two panning days of the fall season are October 24 and October 31. Tickets may be obtained at the site's gift shop and are sold on a first come, first served basis on the day of the event.

The visitor center features exhibits on gold, the geology of gold, mining technology and equipment. An orientation film describes North Carolina’s gold mining industry, and a library features materials on gold mining and the Reed family genealogy.

According to the mine's website, John Reed had been a Hessian soldier, who left the British army near the conclusion of the Revolutionary War. Reed and his family decided to settle in the lower Piedmont of North Carolina, where they raised corn and wheat. Reed's humble lifestyle would change dramatically with the discovery of gold on his property.

Reed formed a partnership with three local men, who supplied the equipment and manpower to dig for gold in the creek bed near his home. The men mined mainly during the off-season when they were not farming. Before the end of their first year of operation, a slave named Peter had unearthed a 28-pound nugget.

"Placer," or creek, gold mining soon led to underground mining. The locals learned that gold was often present in the veins of white quartz rock. A very wealthy John Reed passed away in 1845 at the age of 88. The last underground mining at Reed's property took place in 1912.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the historic site is operating at 50% occupancy. All visitors are required to wear face coverings and respect social distancing and hand-washing requirements.

Underground mining tours cost $2 for adults and $1 for children ages 5-12 and seniors. Panning enthusiasts will pay $3 per pan. The panning season runs from April 1 to October 31. Hours of operation are 9 a.m to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. The Reed Gold Mine is located at 9621 Reed Mine Road, Midland, NC 28107; (704) 721-4653. See the website here.

Credit: Image via North Carolina Historic Sites website.
October 19th, 2020
Queen Elizabeth II is wearing a spectacular sapphire ensemble in an official portrait released by the Government of Canada. The 94-year-old monarch, who was separately proclaimed the Queen of Canada when she ascended to the British throne in 1953, is bedecked in a famous series of pieces called “The King George VI Victorian Suite.”



Included in the suite is a necklace, earrings, bracelet and tiara. Dangling from her ears and neckline is glittering sapphire jewelry gifted to Elizabeth by her father, King George VI, as a wedding day gift nearly 73 years ago.

The mid-19th century necklace was originally designed with 18 sapphire clusters, framed by round diamonds and spaced by an individually diamond. In 1952, the necklace was shortened by four links.

Seven years later, the Queen took the largest cluster and had it transformed into a hanging pendant, which doubles as a brooch. Each pendant earring highlights a large teardrop-shaped sapphire surrounded by smaller round diamonds. All the gemstones are set in gold.

In the early 1960s, the Queen added a matching sapphire bracelet to the ensemble.



On her head is the "Belgian Sapphire Tiara," which the Queen purchased in 1963. The headpiece, which is sometimes called the “Victorian Sapphire Tiara,” had been refashioned from a 19th century necklace once owned by Princess Louise of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (born Princess Louise of Belgium).



In the photo, the Queen's white dress is adorned with two important pieces of Canadian insignia: the Sovereign of the Order of Canada and the Order of Military Merit. The Order of Canada is Canada's highest civilian honor and The Order of Military Merit recognizes distinctive merit and exceptional service displayed by the men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces. The Queen is its highest-ranking member.

The new portrait of the Queen will be displayed in government buildings, schools and embassies in tribute to Canada's ties to the Queen through the Commonwealth.

The official photo was taken at Windsor Castle in the UK by photographer Chris Jackson, who proudly shared it on his Instagram account along with this caption: "It was an incredible honor to have the opportunity to photograph HM Queen Elizabeth II on behalf of the Canadian Government for her official Canadian Portrait that has been released today. I’ve been lucky enough to have visited Canada many times now with members of the Royal Family and have the fondest memories of the people I’ve met and the incredible, vast and beautiful country that I’ve been privileged to get to know a small part of over the years."

The Queen broke the record as the longest-reigning British monarch in September 2015. She had ascended to the throne on February 6, 1952, upon her father's death at the age of 56. The Queen received the sapphire suite when she wed Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, on November 20, 1947. The Prince turned 99 on June 10.

Credits: Photo of Her Majestic Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada, by Chris Jackson/Getty Images, courtesy of the Government of Canada. Official Canadian Portrait 2019 © All Rights Reserved.
October 16th, 2020
Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you throwback songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, Bobbie Gentry's autobiographical "Chickasaw County Child" tells the story of the four-time Grammy winner's unlikely rise to fame despite her hardscrabble upbringing in rural Mississippi.



In the song, Gentry's mom assures the young girl that she's gonna be somebody someday. There's nothing in the world can hold her back because she's got style. The pretty girl radiates confidence and proudly wears her favorite accessory, a faux ruby ring.

Gentry sings, "Sportin' her checkered feedsack dress / A ruby ring from a Cracker Jack box / Shufflin' on down that gravel road / Barefooted and chunkin' rocks."

Later in the song, we learn that her mom's assessment was right on the mark, as the young woman — supplied with a tin can of blackstrap sorghum molasses and a Farmers' Almanac — heads to California to pursue her dreams.

The song opens a window into the life of Gentry, who was actually raised — not by her mother — but by her paternal grandparents in a home without electricity or plumbing. Gentry's parents were divorced shortly after she was born, and her mom had moved to California. Legend has it that her grandmother traded one of the family's milk cows for a neighbor's piano so the youngster could study music. Later, Gentry lived with her dad in Greenwood, MS, and learned to play the guitar and banjo.

At age 13, Gentry reunited with her mom in California. For a short time, they performed as a duo. Gentry attended UCLA as a philosophy major and supported herself by performing at nightclubs and country clubs. Later, she transferred to the Los Angeles Conservatory of Music, where she took classes in composition, music theory and arranging. In 1967, at the age of 25, Gentry recorded a demo of "Ode to Billie Joe," which she took to Capitol Records. The song would top the charts and become an international hit.

Released in 1967 as the third track of Gentry's debut studio album, Ode to Billie Joe, "Chickasaw County Child" became the signature song for the artist who would continue to celebrate her Mississippi heritage.

Trivia: When the album Ode to Billie Joe peaked at #1 on the US Billboard Top LP's chart, the album it displaced for the top position was the Beatles’ iconic Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

Please check out the audio track of Gentry singing "Chickasaw County Child." The lyrics are below if you'd like to sing along…

"Chickasaw County Child"
Written and performed by Bobbie Gentry.

Just outside of Delta country
Where the bitter weeds growin' wild
Born seven miles outside o' Woodland
Was a Chickasaw County child

An' Poppa done brung us some peppermint candy
Momma fixed a custard pie
Bought her a store-bought doll from Jackson
She's an apple of everyone's eye

Chickasaw County child
Is gonna be okay
Chickasaw County child
You gonna be somebody someday

Sportin' her checkered feedsack dress
A ruby ring from a Cracker Jack box
Shufflin' on down that gravel road
Barefooted and chunkin' rocks

Momma said "Look-a here, Dumplin'
You'll go far 'cause you got style"
Ain't nothin' in this world gonna hold her back
Her pretty Chickasaw County child

Chickasaw County child
Is gonna be okay
Chickasaw County child
You gonna be somebody someday

Leavin' the county a week from Monday
Ain't got much to pack
A tin can of blackstrap sorghum molasses
And a Farmers' Almanac

Momma done made her a brand new dress
Made of blue polka dotted silk
Two postcards from California
An' a gallon of buttermilk

Chickasaw County child
Is gonna be okay
Chickasaw County child
You gonna be somebody someday

You gonna be somebody someday
You gonna be somebody someday
You gonna be somebody someday


Credit: Image via Wikimedia Commons, public domain.