Back in the 1800s, two separate women named Frankie shot their lovers to death. The world responded to these unspeakable tragedies the only way they knew how: by lumping the two Frankies together and crafting a jaunty pop song about that whole wacky brutal double-murder thing.
Thus was born "Frankie and Johnny," a 110-year-old standard, documenting the time that ...
"Frankie reached down in her pocketbook
And up with a long .44
She shot once, twice, three times
And Johnny fell on the hardwood floor."
Unlike Detective Callahan, Frankie didn't have the patience for monologues.
Hundreds of people have recorded this danceable number over the years, and in July of 1964, it was soul singer Sam Cooke's turn. He certainly made the song his own, albeit in the most unfortunate manner possible.
The Eerie Prediction:
Less than five months later, on December 11, 1964, just days after finishing his haunting Civil Right anthem "A Change Is Gonna Come," Cooke brought a female fan back to his motel for drinks and sex, as is the soul man's wont. The woman would later testify that Cooke attempted to rape her. Since she didn't count that as foreplay, she ran away, taking his clothes in the process. Cooke, being drunk, naked, and less than thrilled about one of those things, tracked down the manager of the hotel and demanded he be allowed to search her office for his clothes, because we already mentioned the "drunk" bit. The manager, strangely, didn't like the idea of Cooke raiding her office for underwear (man, it's almost like "being Sam Cooke" isn't a Golden Ticket to Willy Wanker's Sex Factory after all), so the two fought. Eventually the manager grabbed a gun and shot Cooke three times. Cooke had just enough life left in him to utter "Lady, you shot me," before collapsing to the ground and dying.
As gunshot victims are wont to do.
The manager's name? Bertha Franklin, or "Frankie" for short. As he foretold in the song he had just recorded, Frankie shot him three times, and he hit the hardwood floor.
OK, so the song didn't mention anything about a botched drunken naked panty raid, but there's only so much detail you can put into a good prophecy, you know?
Sam would like it known that he is available to non-murderers on Facebook and Twitter. He will not accept car rides for any reason, but would be grateful if you checked out his other writing at the Hilltop Views. Menezes has a Twitter page. He will never die.
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