Jeannie Franklyn

Jeannie Franklyn, also known as Jeanie and Genie, (birth date unknown, died on May 12, 1969) was a fashion designer and a member of the Sunset Strip underground scene. She had her own boutique, where she sold handmade clothes on the latter half of the 1960's. Franklyn also wrote columns for Tiger Beat magazine.

Rolling Stone magazine's Groupie issue[edit | edit source]

Franklyn was featured in Rolling Stone magazine's 'groupie' issue but did not like the way in which she was portrayed in it and wrote a letter to the editors about it. She also appears in the 1970 book Groupies, which was an expanded version of the article.

Jeannie's business card. It says "8901 Sunset Boulevard. Upstairs at the Whisky-A-Go-Go. Genie the tailor."

Jeannie as Genie the Tailor[edit | edit source]

According to :

"Tiger Beat always featured articles about the tailor to the beautiful people, Genie. Genie was a young gal who got her start designing clothes for Paul Revere and the Raiders. Soon after, all of the hip Hollywood flower children wanted her personally made Indian clothes for themselves. Some of her clients included The Monkees, Cass Elliot, The Raiders, David Crosby, Coco Dolenz, Donovan, Eric Burdon, and more. Her shop opened in early 1968 and some hip scenesters came to support her. They included Ann Moses, Chuck Laufer and Laudy Powell from Tiger Beat, Micky Dolenz, Samantha Juste, Sajid Khan, and Mark Lindsay."

Newspaper coverage on the crash that killed Jeannie Franklyn. (Click to read in full size)

Death[edit | edit source]

Jeannie was dating Richard Thompson of Fairport Convention and was traveling with his band in the UK. On Monday morning, May 12, 1969 they were passengers of a van, which while being driven by the band's road manager, crashed and caused the deaths of Jeannie Franklyn and Martin Lamble, the drummer of the group. According to a newspaper report on the crash, Jeannie was 27 at the time of her death, but there has been no official confirmation about that.

Songs for a Tailor[edit | edit source]

On Jack Bruce's official website, there is a description of his reasons to name his first solo album 'Songs for a Tailor' :

"SONGS FOR A TAILOR is a reference to a young American designer named Jeannie Franklyn (Genie the Tailor), who used to make clothes for Cream. Jeannie was a cousin of Phil Ochs, and was guitarist Richard Thompson's girlfriend from 1968 onwards. She was in the Fairport Convention van after a show when it crashed on a motorway at night. The FC roadie who was driving fell asleep, killing the young drummer of FC and Jeannie. She died on 12 May 1969 in England. Jeannie used to enjoy the way Jack sang the "high" notes."

Other tributes[edit | edit source]

Jack Nitzsche wrote a song called "I'll Bet She Knew It" and has said that it is for Jeannie.

There have been some internet speculations about Elton John's Tiny Dancer also being about Franklyn, due to the lines "Blue Jean Baby, L. A. lady/Seamstress for the band", but when Bernie Taupin (who wrote the lyrics) was asked about what inspired the song, he mentions [1] that it was about several free spirited women that he met upon his first visit to Los Angeles in 1970. By that time Jeannie was already dead, so it can't be about her.

However, Jeannie Franklyn was petite` and did make stage costumes for English Rock Groups. She was in fact dating Richard Thompson of 'Fairport Convention'. She died in England on May 12, 1969, while on tour with 'Fairport Convention', when the van she was riding in crashed down an embankment. Martin Lamble, the drummer for 'Fairport Convention' was also killed in the crash.

It is more than likely that both Elton John AND Bernie Taupin both met and knew Jeannie Franklyn, and she probably also made some clothing for Elton John when she was in England prior to her death. The song is most likely about her in spite of Taupins' later denial.

Books featuring Jeannie Franklyn[edit | edit source]

Magazine articles[edit | edit source]

  • 1967 August issue of Tiger Beat
  • 1968 February issue of Tiger Beat
  • 1968 March issue of Tiger Beat
  • 1968 May issue of Fave magazine features "Genie the Tailor's Partyland", with 3 pictures
  • 1968 May issue of Tiger Beat
  • 1968 June issue of Tiger Beat
  • 1969 February 27 issue of Rolling Stone, The Groupies issue
  • 1969 June 14 issue of Rolling Stone has the article "Genie the Tailor Dies in Crash"

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Bernie Taupin on the lyrics to "Tiny Dancer"

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