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Frankie Baker
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    (January 1, 1876-January 1, 1952)
    Born in St. Louis, Missouri
    Shot Allen 'Albert' Britt to death in St. Louis, Missouri, on October 15, 1899
    Known as the basis for the 'Frankie and Johnny' folk ballad
    Found not guilty of murder on November 13, 1899
    She was five years older than her seventeen-year-old lover, Allen, when she shot him to death during an argument over another woman.
    She was arrested numerous times, before and after the murder, for prostitution.
    She was described by a neighbor as 'a beautiful, light brown girl, who liked to make money and spend it.'
    She had a long, trademark razor scar down her cheek she got from a fight with another girl as a teenager.
    Bill 'Barroom Bard' Dooley composed and performed a ballad on the very night of the murder (originally titled 'Frankie Killed Allen,' eventually becoming 'Frankie and Johnny')
    The song's earliest form accuses her of snorting cocaine.
    The song in its best known format has Allen/Johnny cheating on Frankie with prominent American journalist,Nellie Bly, who had virtually nothing to do with the case (changed from the less musical name, 'Alice Pryar').
    Many versions of the song detail her execution (usually in the electric chair), even though she was acquitted.
    She unsuccessfully sued Paramount and Mae West, in 1938, over the usage of the song in 'She Done Him Wrong' (1933), claiming West's character was based on her.
    She sued Republic Pictures for royalties of the movie 'Frankie and Johnny' withHelen Morgan (Singer), in 1942, but lost again.
    She was committed to an insane asylum in 1950, where she died two years later.
    Some have argued that the song predates Britt's murder and that she is not the basis for the song.
    Her own obituary called her 'senile,' 'insane' and 'embittered' 'by 'her inability to make money from the famous ballad.'
    She was abused, severely beaten, and frequently cheated on, by Britt, who was her pimp.
    She was defending herself against Britt, who broke into her apartment with a knife and tried to kill her (she shot him once in the chest).
    She was found not guilty of homicide charges on grounds of self defense on Friday 13th (whether it was bad luck or not is anyone's guess).
    She was haunted to the end of her days by the shooting.
    The song's popularity led her to flee first to Nebraska and then to Oregon.
    She quit prostitution and opened a successful shoeshine parlor in Portland.
    The release and subsequent success of 'She Done Him Wrong' resulted in the reopening of old wounds, with reporters, autograph seekers, and gawkers/spectators crowding outsider her home.
    Republic Pictures reportedly paid a writer who had identified Frankie as the song's basis to perjure on the stand and claim he never did, subsequently costing her the court case and royalties.
    Over 250 artists have sang adaptations of 'Frankie and Johnny' - among them Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Elvis Presley, Mae West, Sam Cooke, Mississippi John Hurt, and Lindsay Lohan.
    She was a 19th Century Marissa Alexander (without the prison sentence).
    She would be a perfect NRA spokesperson for today's Guns Rights activists (she slept with her pistol under her pillow for protection).
    She is yet another example of white entertainers lifting material from black performers, making it their own, and then denying credit to the original source.

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair

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