January 25, 1988 12:00 PM

GOSPEL TRUTH: She’s been crowned the queen of soul, but Aretha Franklin should also be anointed the godmother of gospel. With her altar ego at full throttle, Aretha not only sang for, but produced, One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism. She recorded the new double album over three 105° nights last July in the Detroit church where her father was pastor. It’s her first gospel album since 1972’s Amazing Grace. “This was my baby, my labor of love,” she says. “I wanted to produce this album [her first] because I didn’t think anyone was better qualified than myself. Those ladies in this business that want to produce, should. It wasn’t at all difficult for me.” Amen.

PRIME TIME SOAP BOX: L.A. Law’s blond weasel Corbin Bernsen, who most recently has been keeping company with Max Headroom’s Amanda Pays, wants to be taken seriously. “I don’t like the fact that this country is more interested in who I’m sleeping with than who I’m in favor of for President,” he told the Detroit Free Press in a recent interview. And who might that be, he was dutifully asked. “Paul Simon,” said Bernsen, referring to the Democratic candidate known for wearing bow ties. “It’s early, but I’m going to have a meeting with him. I like where he’s taking the nation…. In fact I’m working on a screenplay on the subject.” Didn’t Robert Redford already do The Candidate?

HEIR TO THE THRONE: Nurse Kaye Lani Rae Rafko, Miss America since September, has insisted she’s not giving up her bedside manner for modeling or acting when her crown rounds are done. However, with an embarrassed smile, she tells of her former patients’ responses when asked what they think of her new role. “One of them said, ‘It’s hard to believe the new Miss America handed me toilet paper,’ ” recalls Rafko, “while another proudly claimed, ‘That’s nothing. I can’t believe I had a Miss America help me off the commode.’ Isn’t that a terrible thing to be remembered for?” Beats Penthouse.

SLICK MOVES: If there’s one thing about the ’60s ex-Jefferson Airplane pilot Grace Slick could change, it would be the “naive assumption that drugs will get you to God.” Now working to save the pandas and singing aboard the Starship band, Grace says that back then she and her friends assumed that because they were enjoying LSD, everyone else would too. “But,” she says, “for someone living in the slums of Detroit who takes acid and sees a rat crawling up the wall—that turns into something very unhealthy. We were promoting something without any knowledge of who it did and didn’t work for.” As for the ’90s, Slick is predicting, “I think in the next 2 to 5 years, I’ll be out of the band [and] shifting in other directions. I’m 48. How long can I jump around onstage?”

FALWELL’S THAT ENDS WELL: The Rev. Jerry Falwell, a fundamentalist’s fundamentalist, never beats around the George Bush. When asked in a forthcoming interview with San Francisco Focus, a monthly magazine, how he’s going to get the Vice-President elected to higher office, the good preacher answered: “Oh, wherever condemning him will help him, I’ll condemn him…and wherever promoting him will help him, I’ll promote him. I’ll probably come to San Francisco and say bad things about him, and go to Birmingham, Ala., and say good things.” Isn’t there a Commandment covering this?

FINGER TIPS: Ask Dynasty darling Emma Samms what she looks for in a man, and at first you’ll hear the formula answer all starlets-with-a-brain give: “I cannot be physically attracted until I’m mentally attracted,” says Emma. “I’ll never look across a crowded room and bing, bing, bing. Love at first sight doesn’t appeal to me.” Neither does a fellow who is too well groomed. Scratch a little deeper, and Samms gets specific. “You might see a man you think is attractive, and then notice he polishes his fingernails. I would rather a man chew his fingernails than polish them.” And shoes, Emma?

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