LG096 Interview: Missie Wilkerson (LG096Goreau_Side1)
Side 1 and 2: Interview with Missie Wilkerson on 1973-07-28 or 1973-09-28, continued on Tape ID: LG097. Abstract for Wilkerson: [00:00-30:11] Longtime friend of Mahalia Jackson, Missie Wilkerson, talks extensively about hers and Jackson's relationships with the Rockefeller family. She shares a story about her time working as a cook for the family in 1951 – 3:24. Later she discusses the financial support Jackson received from the Rockefellers including the fact that Nelson Rockefeller sponsored Jackson's Salute to Black Women event – 9:01. Wilkerson speaks about Jackson's close relationship to Coretta Scott King – 15:00. Wilkerson, Goreau and Wilkerson's niece spend several minutes trying to remember a quote about Jackson by Martin Luther King Jr. that was then shared by Coretta at Jackson's funeral – 18:11. Wilkerson shares a story about Jackson coming home with a large sum of money after a benefit concert. Jackson subsequently entrusted the money to Wilkerson, who rolled it up in a towel and slept with it – 24:40. The interview continues on LG096Goreau_Side2 with Wilkerson describing how Jackson earned the first $25 of her career after being hired by Clarence McGowan to sing at funerals. She explains that from then on McGowan always purchased flowers from Jackson's shop and requested Jackson to sing at his own funeral. She was unavailable and suggested Albertina Walker instead – 7:24. Goreau and Wilkerson discuss the assorted people who worked with Jackson at her beauty shop and later, her flower shop – 9:07. Wilkerson describes the close relationship that developed between Jackson and Mayor Richard J. Daley of Chicago – 16:01. Wilkerson then shares that Jackson was very fond of two of her (Wilkerson's) young female relatives and shortly before her death had planned to sponsor their education and help further their careers – 21:31.