Instruments: Piano, Trumpet, Publisher, Songwriter
Place of Birth: Athens, Alabama

1999 Governor's Achievement Award

Thomas Cain began playing piano and trumpet at an early age and continued his studies at Tennessee State University, where he graduated with a bachelor's degree in music education.

In 1976 the music industry became his full-time occupation. As a publisher Cain has had songs recorded by Kenny Rogers, Ronnie Milsap, The Dazz Band, Kevin Welch, Dion, The Mighty Clouds of Joy, Albertina Walker, Johnny Rodriguez, and Donna McElroy, among others. He has written and or performed commercial jingles for many national product campaigns, including Rubbermaid, Jartran Truck Rentals, McDonald's, Oscar Meyer, and Golden Flake Potato Chips.

In 1979 Cain formed Sweet Baby Music, now known as Candy Cane Music. Candy Cane's catalogue contains the #1 hits "Wild and Blue", recorded by John Anderson; "Some Fools Never Learn", recorded by Steve Wariner; and "Cry, Cry, Cry", by Highway 101. Candy Cane songs have also been cut by George Strait, Hank Williams, Jr., Johnny Lee, Clifford Curry, Terri Gibb, Little Anthony, and The Forester Sisters.

As a performer, Cain has opened concerts for George Benson, Bill Withers, Ramsey Lewis, Melba Moore, and Dave Brubeck. He also was seen with Johnny Mathis on the PBS special "Johnny Mathis: Wonderful, Wonderful".

In the production arena, Cain produced gospel great Albertina Walker's Grammy-nominated album "Spirit" and co-produced her album "You Believed In Me". Additionally, he was co-producer (with Norbert Putnam) of The Mighty Clouds of Joy's Grammy-nominated "Catching On".

Along with songwriter Bob DiPiero, Cain has written a music theory course entitled "Music Theory for Contemporary Songwriters". He created a program at Fisk University called T.O.P.S. (Talent On Parade Series), a talent showcase for young performers; it was through this organization that the Urban Music Conference, a seminar event focusing on the business aspects of music, was developed.

In 1991, Cain was honored with the Choice Award, given annually by Choice management, Inc. to those who have enriched Nashville's African-American community by their excellence and service.

Since 1984, Cain has worked for BMI, where he is Senior Director, Writer / Publisher Relations, in the performing rights organization's Nashville office. In his position, he works with songwriters and publishers in the administration of their musical works and provides assistance in networking throughout the industry. He is also involved in local and regional music organizations through their educational programs and talent showcase opportunities.

Source: Alabama Music Hall of Fame

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