Matt Lewis of the Daily Caller is quickly becoming my go-to guy for what’s happening on the other side of the ideological divide. I learn plenty of substantive things from him, but yesterday he sent out an entertaining tweet about his latest blog post that made me perk up: “Herman Cain’s gospel album!” That’s right, the former pizza magnate and wanna-be Republican presidential nominee who disqualified himself for leadership with his views on Muslims is a singer. As Lewis noted in a subsequent tweet, Cain’s album dropped a few years ago. Take a listen.
Listening to Cain’s voice took me back to those hot Sunday afternoons in North Carolina when my paternal grandfather would take me to the Baptist church in Colerain where my father is buried. I’m not sure what it’s like now, but back then it was a raucous swirl of clapping hands, stomping feet and joyous singing. Kinda like the church scene in “The Blues Brothers” — minus James Brown in the pulpit, Chaka Khan in the choir and the acrobatics.
But Cain’s vocal stylings also took me back to those days when compilation albums like his were advertised on television. And no one has captured the rich quality of Cain’s contribution to this genre better than Willie Geist on “Morning Joe” today.
I’d forgotten about former U.S. attorney John “Let the eagle soar” Ashcroft. And I didn’t know about (and am haunted now that I do know) attempts by Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) to sing. But back to Cain. As Geist said, the Cain commercial he showed isn’t real. It was created by him and his team. That’s a pity. If Cain had had such an ad to promote his album back then, maybe he’d be pursuing Grammys instead of the presidency. With a voice like that, maybe he still could.