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HIGH PROFILE: John Albert Cain

John Cain fell in love with jazz as a teen and spun it into a decades-long radio career. His love of music — and the back story of it — expanded his passions to include historic preservation.

By Shea Stewart

This article was published August 6, 2017 at 4:30 a.m.

i-had-this-mission-i-was-becoming-more-civic-minded-i-just-wanted-to-change-the-image-of-african-americans

“I had this mission. I was becoming more civic-minded. I just wanted to change the image of African-Americans.”

“He is one of those unsung heroes in our community. We wouldn’t be where we are today as an African-American community if not for the work of John Cai...

SELF PORTRAIT

John Cain

• DATE AND PLACE OF BIRTH: Feb. 1, 1937, Wrightsville

• THE WORST JOB I'VE EVER HAD WAS working at the Federal Reserve Bank in Little Rock. To count so much money and there's nothing you can do with it. You don't own it. I felt like I was working in a prison because of the protocol in handling the money.

• MY CHILDHOOD HERO WAS Jackie Robinson. I thought I wanted to be a baseball player because I saw him break that color line.

• THE ARTIST -- LIVING OR DEAD -- I WOULD MOST LIKE TO SEE PERFORM IS John Coltrane. I guess because when I really grew up and discovered [jazz], I seemed closer to him than [Charlie Parker].

• MY FAVORITE CHARACTER TRAIT IN OTHER PEOPLE IS honesty. If a person is real honest, you get a straightforward answer.

• SOMETHING I ALWAYS HAVE ON ME IS a knife. A jackknife; a pocketknife. I probably have 15 of them.

• THE ONE THING I WILL NOT EAT IS octopus. I love sushi, but there's something about octopus. They're squirmy. I've never had a fear of food, though.

• ONE WORD TO DESCRIBE ME: persistent

Growing up in Wrightsville, John Cain heard jazz playing over the crackling radio airwaves at night, rolling over the shadowed roads and moonlit fields, and into his house.

“He is one of those unsung heroes in our community. We wouldn’t be where we are today as an African-American community if not for the work of John Cai...

SELF PORTRAIT

John Cain

• DATE AND PLACE OF BIRTH: Feb. 1, 1937, Wrightsville

• THE WORST JOB I'VE EVER HAD WAS working at the Federal Reserve Bank in Little Rock. To count so much money and there's nothing you can do with it. You don't own it. I felt like I was working in a prison because of the protocol in handling the money.

• MY CHILDHOOD HERO WAS Jackie Robinson. I thought I wanted to be a baseball player because I saw him break that color line.

• THE ARTIST -- LIVING OR DEAD -- I WOULD MOST LIKE TO SEE PERFORM IS John Coltrane. I guess because when I really grew up and discovered [jazz], I seemed closer to him than [Charlie Parker].

• MY FAVORITE CHARACTER TRAIT IN OTHER PEOPLE IS honesty. If a person is real honest, you get a straightforward answer.

• SOMETHING I ALWAYS HAVE ON ME IS a knife. A jackknife; a pocketknife. I probably have 15 of them.

• THE ONE THING I WILL NOT EAT IS octopus. I love sushi, but there's something about octopus. They're squirmy. I've never had a fear of food, though.

• ONE WORD TO DESCRIBE ME: persistent

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