Faye Adams

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Faye Adams
Birth nameFanny Tuell
Also known asFaye Scruggs
Fannie Jones[1]
Born(1923-05-22)May 22, 1923
Essex County, New Jersey, U.S.
GenresGospel, rhythm and blues
Years activePerformance career started 1928 on radio,[1] recording 1952-1976[1]

Faye Adams (born Fanny Tuell, May 22, 1923), who also performed under the stage names Faye Scruggs and Fannie Jones, is an American former singer who recorded and performed gospel and rhythm and blues. She had several chart hits in the early 1950s, continued to record until the late 1970s, and was also a songwriter.


Early years[edit]

She was born in Essex County, New Jersey,[1] the daughter of David Tuell who was a gospel singer and a key figure in the Church of God in Christ (COGIC).[2]

Music career[edit]

Tuell started performing the age of five with her sisters singing spirituals, regularly performing on Newark radio shows. She entered an Apollo Theatre singing contest and won first prize in 1939. In 1942 she married her first husband, Tommy Scruggs, who became her business manager. Under her married name, Faye Scruggs, she became a regular performer in New York nightclubs in the late 1940s and early 1950s.

While performing in Atlanta, Georgia, she was discovered by the singer Ruth Brown, who won her an audition with the bandleader Joe Morris of Atlantic Records. Morris recruited her as a singer in 1952, and signed her to Herald Records, under new management by her former vocal coach Phil Moore. After he changed her name to Faye Adams, she released her second recording and first release at Herald with Morris's song "Shake a Hand". The recording topped the US Billboard R&B chart for ten weeks in 1953 and reached number 22 on the US pop chart.[2] It sold one million copies and was awarded a gold disc.[3]

According to the Acoustic Music organization, the "first clear evidence of soul music shows up with The "5" Royales, an ex-gospel group that turned to R&B and in Faye Adams, whose "Shake A Hand" becomes an R&B standard".[4]

In 1954, Adams had two more R&B chart toppers with "I'll Be True" (later covered by Bill Haley in 1954 and by a young Jackie DeShannon in 1957) and "It Hurts Me to My Heart".[5] During this period, she left the Morris band and was billed as "Atomic Adams". She appeared in the 1955 film Rhythm & Blues Revue. In 1957 she moved to Imperial Records, but her commercial success diminished. By the late 1950s she was seen as an older recording artist whose time had come and gone, although she continued to record for various small labels until the early 1960s and 70s. DJ Alan Freed called Adams the "little gal with the big voice" and she toured in the Rhythm and Blues Show Tours, which also featured The Drifters, The Counts and The Spaniels.[2]

Later life[edit]

She remarried in 1968, to second husband Clarence J. Jones, and as Fannie Jones'[6] returned to her gospel roots and family life in New Jersey.[5] In the 1970s, she was credited as co-writer with her husband of several gospel and secular songs, and released a single, "Sinner Man", on Savoy Records in 1975.[1]

In February 1998, she received an award from the Rhythm and Blues Foundation, and at the time was reported to be living in England.[1]

According to music writer and rhythm and blues historian Marv Goldberg, he located a single source, albeit without a written obituary, stating that a "Fannie Jones" (Tuell's married name), died aged 93, on November 2, 2016, but this has not been confirmed as being the famous singer.[1]



Year Label A-side B-side Chart Positions
US Pop[7] US
1953 Atlantic 1007 "Sweet Talk" "Watch Out, I Told You"
Herald 416 "Shake a Hand" "I've Gotta Leave You" 22 1
Herald 419 "I'll Be True" "Happiness to My Soul" 1
1954 Herald 423 "Every Day" "Say a Prayer"
Herald 429 "Somebody, Somewhere, Someday" "Crazy Mixed-Up World"
Herald 434 "It Hurts Me to My Heart" "Ain't Gonna Tell" 1
Herald 439 "Ain't Nothin' to Play With" "I Owe My Heart to You"
1955 Herald 444 "Anything for a Friend" "Your Love Has My Heart Burning"
Herald 450 "You Ain't Been True" "My Greatest Desire"
Herald 462 "No Way Out" "Same Old Me"
1956 Herald 470 "Teen-Age Heart" "Witness to the Crime"
Herald 480 "Takin' You Back" "Don't Forget to Smile"
Herald 489 "Anytime, Any Place, Anywhere" "The Hammer Keeps Knockin'"
1957 Imperial 5443 "Keeper of My Heart" "So Much" 13
Imperial 5456 "Johnny Lee" "You're Crazy"
Imperial 5471 "I Have a Twinkle in My Eye" "Someone Like You"
1958 Imperial 5525 "When We Kiss" "Everything"
Herald 512 "Shake a Hand" "I'll Be True"


year Association Award Results
1998 Rhythm and Blues Foundation Pioneer Award Won



  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Marv Goldberg, "Faye Adams", 2018. Retrieved March 9, 2021
  2. ^ a b c Ankeny, Jason. "Biography: Faye Adams". Allmusic. Retrieved May 25, 2010.
  3. ^ Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins. p. 63. ISBN 0-214-20512-6.
  4. ^ "Timeline of Musical Styles & Guitar History". Acoustic Music. Retrieved March 4, 2021.
  5. ^ a b Colin Larkin, ed. (1995). The Guinness Who's Who of Blues (Second ed.). Guinness Publishing. p. 11. ISBN 0-85112-673-1.
  6. ^ Eagle, Bob; LeBlanc, Eric S. (2013). Blues: A Regional Experience. Santa Barbara, California: Praeger. pp. 264–265. ISBN 978-0313344237.
  7. ^ a b Whitburn, Joel (1996). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942–1995. Record Research. p. 4.

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