Today in 1913, was the birthday of the 37th president of the United States.

He was also vice president, US Senator, US Representative, lawyer, author, Navy veteran and, once, during the Watergate scandal, an “unindicted co-conspirator.”

But Richard Nixon also once wanted to be a rapper!

This comes from the Washington Post, so I’m not making anything up here.

But we should probably back up a bit.

Nixon was a capable musician who could play a number of instruments.

Mostly he was a piano player; in 1963, the then-former vice president appeared on TV’s “Jack Paar Program” to play his own composition, called “Richard Nixon Piano Concerto #1.”

As president, he brought a White House piano as a gift for Harry Truman’s presidential library in Independence, Missouri.

He then paid tribute to his predecessor by playing “The Missouri Waltz.”

Truman actually didn’t like the song, and, for that matter, he didn’t care much for Nixon either, but by then his hearing was going, so, not a big deal.

President Nixon also hosted the great singer Pearl Bailey at the White House, and played piano while she sang several songs.

And he performed “God Bless America” at the Grand Ole Opry in 1974!

Later that year he became the first president to resign, just as Congress was preparing to impeach and remove him from office.

While he largely defended his conduct and his record, it’s clear Nixon had a few regrets.

In 1990, there were multiple news reports about an audio clip from one of Nixon’s many recordings of his thoughts and memories.

In that clip, President Richard Nixon said, “I have often thought that if there had been a good rap group around in those days, I might have chosen a career in music instead of politics.”

As Kid of Kid ‘n’ Play once noted, Nixon had a way with tape…

The only connection stranger than Richard Nixon and rap music is the connection between Richard Nixon and Hasil Adkins.

Adkins, known as “The Haze” and the “Wild Man of Rock & Roll,” was, to say the least, a very eccentric outsider musician.

He said he’d sent out thousands of his records and cassettes hoping for a record contract.

In 1970, one of those recordings got to the White House.

President Nixon wrote Hasil Adkins to say, “I am very pleased by your thoughtfulness in bringing these particular selections to my attention.”

So there’s another way to mark Nixon’s birthday.

Richard Nixon, wannabe rapper (Washington Post)

He hunches in Heaven. Hasil Adkins dead at 67. (WFMU)

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Photo via Harry S. Truman Library & Museum