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Norman Chad's Anthem For America

First, let me say that my favorite published articles in The Washington Post sports section every week are written by two men: Norman Chad and Angus Phillips. Playing blackjack in Vegas with Norman goes right up there with eating Northern Italian cheese at Roberta Donna's mom's house. Total fanboy.

That being said, if you read Norman's latest in The Washington Post this week, you saw a reference to Obama offering face time to Andy Katz but not responding to Couch Slouch's memo about bowling. What you didn't read was this passage--zoinked by an editor--which you can find in some other online versions.

(Column Intermission P.S.: Anyway, I'd like to invite all of America - even Duke grads - to listen to and view our musical celebration at www.youtube.com/anewdayamerica. You can sing along; it's free, with no chemical additives.)

Um, come again? Turns out this isn't the first time said musical celebration has been referenced, but without having audio, I had always figured it was just a gag. Well, it wasn't. Here's the audio. I'm still not 100 percent sure whether this is a put-on, but I asked Norman for an explanation, promising him a buck-and-a-quarter in return. His words are below. And if you watch the video, prepare for the tune to be stuck in your head all day.


The Explanation, by Norman Chad

I never thought Obama would win. Even on Election Day, I was convinced that there was no way The Man or The System would allow such a breakthrough, not in 2008 America.

Anyway, right after voting, I was going to pick up my 10-year-old stepdaughter Mia at school (she was a big Obama fan). And for some reason, with the prospect he might've won and my stepdaughter's unbridled, child-like optimism in my head (she's allowed to be child-like, due to the fact that she still, technically, passes for a child), I started singing in the car.

(Yes, in a statistical improbability, I do that sometimes. I won't talk on the cell phone while driving, but I will make up new tunes and belt 'em out.)

There, in downtown Venice, Calif., I was crooning, "It's a new day, America, a bright day, America, a great day, America...."

That night, after seeing that Obama won, I started to flesh the song out. It was a celebratory tune, dealing in the hope of a new, better America in the wake of the breakthrough election. I decided I wanted to try the impossible -- to get the song performed on Inauguration Day.

Anyway, I enlisted my close friend Vinnie Perrone to write the music and he did. I went through connections to try to get through to the new White House (without success). I went through connections to try to get the song onto Oprah or The Bonnie Hunt Show by Inauguration Day (without success). Vinnie has a cousin in the music biz in NYC who convinced this professional singer to record it for us; unfortunately, she bagged on two recording sessions, so as an emergency ploy, Vinnie's cousin himself (Michael) recorded it.

I made a plea or two in the column for Barack to contact me (without success). Then, after the inauguration passed, Vinnie decided he wanted to post it on YouTube, so he enlisted his 13-year-old nephew Taylor to come up with some still-photo video to accompany the tune and -- presto! -- it's now posted. It might not be our best work, but I believe the song's sentiments provide a new national anthem of sorts.

Of course, people are always waiting for me to make a Dick Vitale joke, so it's hard to convince anyone the song is serious. (Originally, I envisioned the song as a ballad, sung by someone like Alicia Keys. I also envisioned my first marriage lasting forever; alas, the final product never matches the one in your mind's eye.)

By Dan Steinberg  |  March 26, 2009; 10:14 AM ET
Categories:  Media  
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