Adam Wade (b. March 17, 1935) is a veteran traditional pop singer, drummer, and actor with clear, warm crooner vocals and a flair for R&B and soul who became famous during the early 1960s. With a style often compared to that of Johnny Mathis, his best known songs include the 1961 hit romantic ballads, "Take Good Care Of Her," "The Writing On The Wall," and "As If I Didn't Know." In 1975, the multi-talented entertainer became the host of CBS TV's "Musical Chairs," making him the first-ever African American game show host on a major network.
Born Patrick Henry Wade in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, he began singing while in high school and served for a time as a lab assistant with Dr. Jonas Salk's polio vaccine research group before pursuing a music career. By 1959, he had signed with Coed Records and he relocated to New York City the following year where he performed at such top venues as Manhattan's Copacabana nightclub.
Adam Wade debuted on the Pop/Rock charts in early 1960 with "Tell Her For Me," followed later that year by several minor hits that included "Ruby," a cover of the 1953 hit theme to the 1952 movie, "Ruby Gentry." His fame took off in 1961 when he scored three Top 10 hits with "Take Good Care Of Her," "The Writing On The Wall," and "As If I Didn't Know," the latter two songs of which made the Adult Contemporary Top 5. All three songs also became top hits on the R&B charts, reaching #20, #21, and #16, respectively. Wade's long string of hits, which continued through 1965, also included "Gloria's Theme" (1960), "Point Of No Return" (1961), "Tonight I Won't Be There" (1961), and his renditions of the Hank Williams 1951 Country hit, "I Can't Help It" (1960), the Buddy Clark 1947 hit, "Linda" (1961), and the June Valli 1953 hit, "Crying In The Chapel" (1965).
By the late 1960s, Wade had branched out into acting doing commercials and voice-overs, and during the early 1970s, had supporting roles in "Gordon's War" (1973) and several other movies. He made numerous TV appearances on such hit shows as "The Guiding Light," "Search For Tomorrow," "Sanford & Son," "The Jeffersons," "What's Happening!!" and "Good Times." In addition to hosting "Musical Chairs," his many projects over the years included starring in a stage production of "Guys & Dolls" in 1978 and hosting the talk show, "Mid-Morning LA," during the 1980s. Wade and his wife Jeree own and operate their own music production company, Songbird's Unlimited Productions.
- Adam Wade discusses his multifaceted career in an interview with thehistorymakers.org (April 27, 2007).
- Wade looks back on his life and career in an interview with wnpr.org (February 12, 2014).
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- As If I Didn't Know 1961
- I Can't Help It 1960
(This song was previously a hit for Margaret Whiting (1958) and later also became a hit for Johnny Tillotson (1962), B.J. Thomas (1967), and Al Martino (1969).)
- Linda 1961
- Ruby 1960
(This song was previously a hit for Richard Hayman (1953) and also became a hit for Ray Charles (1960).)
- Take Good Care Of Her 1961
(This song later also became a hit for Mel Carter (1966) and Elvis Presley (1974).)
- Tell Her For Me 1960
- Tonight I Won't Be There 1961
- The Writing On The Wall 1961
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