Steve Cropper, bassist Donald »Duck« Dunn (from 1964) and drummer Al Jackson. On their LP »Doin' Our Thing« we find a noteworthy adaption of Bobbie Gentry's »Ode To Billie Joe«. A very calm piece which actually only evokes, rather than adapts, the original song. In fact, it more resembles a impressionistic sound study, quite original by and in itself ... there is a certain Debussy-like quality to the tune, being a collage of melodical moods losely based on the original:
Booker T & The MGs: »Ode To Billie Joe« from the Stax LP 724 (1968):
* * *POSTSCRIPT June 2011:
I recently came across a notice speaking about the success of Bobbie Gentry's »Ode To Billie Joe« and the subsequent flood of cover versions, both instrumental and vocal. It is from the September 23, 1967, issue of Billboard, page 4:
*** BONUS SONG added March 31, 2012 ***
The Billboard article quotes, among several cover version, the instrumental by the Kingpins (i.e. King Curtis and his band) on Atco # 6516. This version was recorded in Memphis (Aug. 24, '67) at the American Sound Studios (supervised by Chips Moman; incidentally, there was also a recording session of the Sweet Inspirations that very same day!).
King Curtis & The Kingpins: »Ode To Billie Joe« from the Atco LP # SD 33-231 (1967):