Adam Wade (singer)

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Adam Wade
Wade circa 1964
Patrick Henry Wade

(1935-03-17)March 17, 1935
DiedJuly 7, 2022(2022-07-07) (aged 87)
EducationVirginia State College
  • Singer
  • musician
  • actor
Years active1959–2022
  • Kay A. Wade
    (m. 1956; div. 1973)
  • Jeree Wade
    (m. 1989)
Musical career
  • Vocals
  • drums

Patrick Henry "Adam" Wade (March 17, 1935 – July 7, 2022)[1] was an American singer, musician, and actor.


Early life and education[edit]

Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States,[2] to Pauline Simpson and Henry Oliver Wade, Jr., Wade was raised by his grandparents. Wade grew up in the East Liberty neighborhood and attended Westinghouse High School; graduating in 1952. After high school, Wade attended Virginia State University but dropped out in his sophomore year.[3]


After working for a time as a lab assistant with Dr. Jonas Salk on the polio research team,[4] Wade began to pursue a recording career, signing with Coed Records in late 1959. He had his first hit in early 1960 (No. 58) with the song "Ruby",[5] a cover of the hit movie song of 1953.[6]

Wade was popular in the early-1960s.[7] In 1961 three of his recordings ("Take Good Care of Her" (No. 7), "As If I Didn't Know" (No. 10) and "The Writing on the Wall" (No. 5) made the Top Ten in the Billboard Hot 100 chart.[2] These songs also made the Top Five of Billboard's Easy Listening survey. Wade released the following albums in the United Kingdom: Adam and Evening in 1961 and Adam Wade One Is A Lonely Number in 1962. Wade also released an EP in 1960, And Then Came Adam. "Take Good Care of Her" reached No. 38 in the UK Singles Chart in June 1961.[8] Wade's vocal style was generally compared to that of his contemporary Johnny Mathis.[2] But it was actually a singer from an earlier period, Nat King Cole, who was his principal influence.[2] In a Connecticut Public Radio interview, Wade said: "My father introduced me to Nat’s music when I was a kid. He was my idol since high school."[9]

In 1975, Wade became the first African-American to host a television game show, with the premiere of Musical Chairs.[2] He starred in a stage production of Guys and Dolls in 1978, and hosted the talk show Mid-Morning LA.[10] In 1979, he co-starred with Della Reese in a production of Same Time, Next Year.[11] On TV he was seen in the soap operas The Guiding Light and Search for Tomorrow, and was a familiar presence on such popular black-oriented sitcoms as Sanford & Son, The Jeffersons, What's Happening!! and Good Times. His handsome face lit up the room and allowed his natural mannerism to take over the scene. In the late–1970s and early–1980s Wade began to concentrate on acting, and appeared in several of the so-called blaxploitation movies, including Gordon's War.

Wade briefly returned to recording, producing a self–titled album on the Kirschner record label, which was distributed by Columbia Records. This was a venture into a more soulful singing genre. It met with moderate success but is still a favorite with his loyal fans. He appeared in one episode of The Dukes of Hazzard. His latest theatrical appearance was with the 2008 touring company of the play The Color Purple. Wade and his wife have a music production firm, Songbird, whose headquarters are in New Jersey.


A resident of Montclair, New Jersey following his marriage in 1989, Wade died there on July 7, 2022, at age 87.[12] He had battled Parkinson’s disease.[13]

Personal life[edit]

Wade was married twice and had three children. Wade's first marriage was to his high school sweetheart Kay A. Wade from 1956 until 1973. Together, they had three children; Sheldon (Ramel) Wade, Patrice Johnson Wade and Michael (Jamel) Wade. Wade was married to Jeree Wade in 1989, and their marriage lasted until his death. The two often performed together, and Wade revealed in an interview that he met Jeree on the set of Musical Chairs.



  • And Then Came Adam (Coed, 1960)
  • Adam and Evening (Coed, 1961)
  • Adam Wade's Greatest Hits (Epic, 1962)
  • One Is a Lonely Number (Epic, 1962)
  • What Kind of Fool Am I? (Epic, 1963)
  • A Very Good Year for Girls (Epic, 1963)
  • Adam Wade (Kirshner, 1977)


Year Titles (A-side, B-side)
Both sides from same album except where indicated
Chart positions Album
1960 "Tell Her for Me"
b/w "Don't Cry, My Love" (Non-album track)
66 And Then Came Adam
b/w "Too Far" (Non-album track)
"I Can't Help It"
b/w "I Had the Craziest Dream" (from And Then Came Adam)
64 Adam Wade's Greatest Hits
"Speaking of Her"
b/w "Blackout the Moon" (Non-album track)
"In Pursuit of Happiness"
b/w "For the Want of Your Love"
Non-album tracks
"Gloria's Theme"
b/w "Dreamy"
74 Adam and Evening
1961 "Take Good Care of Her"
Original B-side: "Sleepy Time Gal" (from Adam and Evening)
Later B-side: "Too Far" (Non-album track)
7 20 Adam Wade's Greatest Hits
"The Writing on the Wall" / 5 5 20
"Point of No Return" 85 Non-album track
"As If I Didn't Know"
b/w "Playin' Around" (Non-album track)
10 4 16 Adam Wade's Greatest Hits
"Tonight I Won't Be There" / 61 14
"Linda" 94
"Preview of Paradise"
b/w "Cold, Cold Winter"
108 Non-album tracks
1962 "How Are Things in Lovers Lane" / 114
"It's Good to Have You Back with Me" 109
"For the First Time in My Life"
b/w "Little Miss Lovely"
"I'm Climbin' the Wall"
b/w "They Didn't Believe Me"
"There'll Be No Teardrops Tonight"
b/w "Here Comes the Pain" (Non-album track)
104 What Kind of Fool Am I?
1963 "Don't Let Me Cross Over"
b/w "Rain from the Skies"
117 Non-album tracks
"Teenage Mona Lisa"
b/w "Why Do We Have to Wait So Long"
"Theme from 'Irma La Douce' (Look Again)"
b/w "Let's Make the Most of a Beautiful Thing"
"Does Goodnight Mean Goodbye"
b/w "Charade"
1964 "Seven Loves for Seven Days"
b/w "A Whisper Away"
"When April Smiles at Me"
b/w "Pencil and Paper"
1965 "Crying in the Chapel"
b/w "Broken Hearted Stranger"
88 20
"A Lover's Question"
b/w "It's Been a Long Time Comin'"
"Garden in the Rain"
b/w "Play Some Music for Broken Hearts"
"The Time for Dreams"
b/w "Garden of Eden"
1966 "Solitude"
b/w "How Can I Leave You"
"A Man Alone"
b/w "Wheels on the Highway"
1967 "Julie on My Mind"
b/w "With One Exception"
1968 "Maybe"
b/w "Everyone Is Looking for That Someone"
b/w "Old Devil Moon"
1977 "Keeping Up with the Joneses"
b/w "Russell Never Had a Chance"
Adam Wade
1989 "She Don't Want Anything"
b/w "There's More to a Man Than Just a Name"
Non-album tracks


  1. ^ Roberts, Sam (July 12, 2022). "Adam Wade, Network Game Show Pioneer, Is Dead at 87". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved July 21, 2022.
  2. ^ a b c d e Larkin, Colin, ed. (1992). The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music (First ed.). Guinness Publishing. p. 2605. ISBN 0-85112-939-0.
  3. ^ McNally, Owen (February 14, 2012). "Crooner Wade Visits Hartford". Connecticut Public Radio Home. Connecticut Public Radio. Retrieved June 2, 2020. I was the first one in my family to go to college, but dropped out in my sophomore year from Virginia State University.
  4. ^ McNally, Owen (February 14, 2012). "Crooner Wade Visits Hartford". Connecticut Public Radio Home. Connecticut Public Radio. Retrieved June 2, 2020. As a young man, I worked as a lab technician for Dr. Jonas Salk, who developed the vaccine for polio.
  5. ^ "Adam Wade – Billboard". Billboard. Retrieved June 3, 2020. Peaked at #58 on 4.18.1960
  6. ^ "Ruby Gentry – Soundtrack Details". Retrieved June 3, 2020. Track listing – 2. Ruby (Roemheld-Parish) Harmonica Solo: George Fields; RUBY GENTRY
  7. ^ "Adam Wade". March 17, 1937. Retrieved April 2, 2020.
  8. ^ Roberts, David (2005). British Hit Singles & Albums (18th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 98. ISBN 978-1904994008.
  9. ^ McNally, Owen (February 14, 2012). "Crooner Wade Visits Hartford". Connecticut Public Radio Home. Connecticut Public Radio. Retrieved June 2, 2020.
  10. ^ Opinde, Walter (April 23, 2019). "June 16, 1975, Adam Wade". Retrieved June 3, 2020. He starred in the production Guys and Dolls in 1978, and hosted the talk show Mid-Morning Los Angeles.
  11. ^ "Adam Wade Plays Della Reese's Lover In Stage Production". Jet. Vol. 56, no. 21. August 9, 1979. pp. 60–61. ISSN 0021-5996. Retrieved April 11, 2019.
  12. ^ Martin, Julia. "Adam Wade, TV pioneer and longtime Montclair resident, dies at age 87", The Record, July 19, 2022. Accessed July 21, 2022. "Adam Wade, who had a string of Billboard Top 10 hits in the 1960s and appeared in many films, plays and TV productions, including as the first Black host of a TV game show, died in Montclair on July 7 at age 87.... Adam and Jeree Wade moved to Von Breeman Court in Montclair in 1989. They married earlier that year, just a few months after meeting at the club Sweetwaters, where Wade was singing and his future wife also sang."
  13. ^ "Adam Wade, Singer, Actor and Pioneering Game Show Host, Dies at 87". Hollywood Reporter. July 9, 2022. Retrieved July 10, 2022.

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