Shedrick Edward Cain Sr.

From left are (top row) Lawrence Hodge, Shedrick Cain, Arnold Fisher and James Campbell; (bottom row) Robert Beane and Joe Laws.

BALTIMORE, MD.—Shedrick Edward Cain Sr., beloved husband of Helen Mayers Cain, departed this life on October 18, 2021. He was born April 4, 1930, in Lancaster County to the late Shedrick E. Cain and Delilah Rich Cain. 

Deacon Cain, the eldest of four siblings, attended A.T. Wright High School and joined Sharon Baptist Church in Weems at an early age. He will be fondly remembered as a dedicated servant of the Lord throughout his entire life; always setting an example to his children what it means to commit yourself to Christ. 

He began his career in Weems with a truck hauling business and also enjoyed hunting and farming.    

Following the footsteps of his best friend, Captain Mathews “Sonnyboy” Gaskins Sr., Deacon Cain was also captain of a menhaden fishing vessel out of Reedville, where they cast their fishing nets off the shores of the Atlantic Ocean down to the Gulf of Mexico in Louisiana. Being away from their families for four months at a time, the crew would sing a medley of chanteys as they hauled in their catch. They caught the eye of Alan Lomax, music producer.

Later, he and a group of friends from Lancaster County formed a singing group called The Bright Light Quartet, their music was gospel and folk songs recorded by Alan Lomax. “Sweet Roseyanne” was a chart hitting single off their first album in the early 60s that was later picked up and sung by the world-renowned folk singers Pete Seger and Arloe Guthrie. Another favorite gospel song by the group was “Christian Automobile”—Prayer is your guide—Faith is your steering wheel. 

The Metropolitanaires

Early 1960, Alan Lomax was commissioned by the City of Williamsburg, to produce an educational film called “The Music of Williamsburg.” The Bright Light Quartet was one of two groups who sang for the film’s soundtrack. Mr. Lomax’s movie Collections and Interviews of his Journey thru the South can be found in the Library of Congress Archives.

Deacon Cain and his brother Willard Cain, cousin Elias Taylor and others formed a gospel group out of Baltimore known as The Metropolitanaires where they published and produced an album “Solid Rock” a CD still being widely played around the world. The song “Stand Still Jordan” became the most widely requested song for him to perform. 

When he moved to Baltimore, he joined Mt. Zion Hill Baptist Church where he sang on The Men’s Chorus and served as chairman of the Board of Deacons. He was also self-employed with a taxi service for more than 30 years and after relinquishing the taxi service, he used his personal vehicle and continued to transport his most dedicated clients up until his recent illness.

He is preceded in death by his sisters Delilah Carter, Carrie Beale and a daughter Schanden Cain Bowers.

He is survived by his wife Helen Cain, brother Willard Cain Sr. (Bubba); four children from his previous marriage, Gwendolyn Cox (Jimmy), Deacon Shedrick Cain Jr. (Marla), Sharon Cain Amar and Sharold Smith (Ronald); a stepdaughter, Marcie Mayers; and a host of grandchildren, great-grandchildren, great-great grandchildren, nieces and nephews. 

The Cain family extends its heartfelt thanks for the many condolences and tributes received from his church family, friends and loved ones.

A viewing will be held from 6:30-8 p.m. Thursday, October 28, at Mount Zion Hill Baptist Church, 4800 Hartford Road, Baltimore, Md.

A wake will be held from 9:30-10:30 a.m. Friday, October 29, at Mount Zion Hill Baptist Church, followed by a funeral service at 10:30 a.m., also at Mount Zion Hill Baptist Church. Burial will be held at 1:30 p.m. at Arbutus Memorial Park, 1101 Sulphur Road, Baltimore, Md.

The service will be live-streamed on Zoom, contact Shedrick Cain Jr., 443-456-6497.