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


Manage episode 294649094 series 16681
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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)