Reba McEntire Thinks ‘Fancy’ is the Song That Best Represents Her: Here’s Why

by Joe Rutland

Country music legend Reba McEntire has recorded a lot of songs in her career, but she believes “Fancy” best represents her. Why?

She explains her reasoning in a 2008 interview with The Boot.

“I would say ‘Fancy,’ because ‘Fancy’ is a situation where you started with nothing and built up and you worked hard,” Reba McEntire said. “Not that I was a prostitute and my momma gave me away to a man! It is that idea of the Annie Oakley and the Molly Brown. It is the determination and that that gut-wrenching [attitude of] ‘My golly, I am going to do it!'”

Reba McEntire Turned Bobbie Gentry Original Into Top 10 Hit

“Fancy” was written and released by Bobbie Gentry in 1969. It received crossover recognition in 1970, becoming Gentry’s last single to reach Billboard’s Top 40 songs. “Fancy” also reached Billboard’s Top 30 country music songs.

It’s a song about a woman who used prostitution to overcome poverty. Gentry commented on the song in a 1974 interview for “After Dark Magazine.”

“‘Fancy’ is my strongest statement for women’s lib, if you really listen to it,” Gentry said. “I agree wholeheartedly with that movement and all the serious issues that they stand for — equality, equal pay, daycare centers, and abortion rights.”

McEntire’s version, though, soared higher than Gentry’s original cut. Reba McEntire put “Fancy” in Billboard’s Hot Country charts Top 10 in 1991. McEntire still holds “Fancy” near and dear to her heart after all these years.

Grand Ole Opry Debut For Country Singer Cut Short By Dolly Parton

Before going any further into why Reba McEntire saw her Grand Ole Opry debut cut short by Dolly Parton, one thing should be said.

Both country music legends have been friends for more than 40 years. But McEntire saw her Opry debut interrupted by Parton.

Reba McEntire made her Grand Ole Opry debut on Sept. 17, 1977. Almost nine years later, she was inducted into the Opry as a member on Jan.17, 1986.

What happened on the debut? Well, McEntire’s family drove from Oklahoma to witness her debut. When she and her family arrived, Reba McEntire wasn’t on the list. The security guard wouldn’t let them in at first. The family drove down the street to a gas station to use a pay-phone to call her agent, who got her name on the list.

McEntire initially had a slot for two songs, “Invitation to the Blues” from Roger Miller and “Sweet Dreams” from Patsy Cline. The Tennessean said Parton pulled up unexpectedly into the parking lot and was going to surprise fans with a performance.

“Dolly came walking in, and she was like a vision,” Reba McEntire said. “It was worth the drive from Oklahoma just to see Dolly.” McEntire only did “Invitation to the Blues” that night.