‘Johnny’s’ Frankie lived in Portland, hiding from song


Manage episode 294649094 series 16681
By www.offbeatoregon.com and Www.offbeatoregon.com (finn @ offbeatoregon.com). Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.
SOMETIME IN 1915, a 40-year-old Black woman named Frankie Baker stepped off the train at Portland’s Union Station. She had come to stay; Oregon would be her home for the rest of her life. At that time, Portland had a a reputation as a good place to hide out when you were on the lam. It was far off the beaten path; but the town had all the cultural perquisites of civilization, or most of them anyway. Plus, the people of Oregon had a reputation for minding their own business. So a lot of people who got into trouble back east came to Portland hoping for a fresh start. And yes, Frankie was one of them. But she wasn’t running from the law, or from an abusive spouse. She was running from a popular song. Frankie Baker, you see, was the Frankie — of “Frankie and Johnny” fame. ... (Portland, Multnomah County; 1910s, 1920s, 1930s) (For text and pictures, see http://offbeatoregon.com/21-04.frankie-baker-they-done-her-wrong-596.html)

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