Faye Adams

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Faye Adams
Birth nameFanny Tuell
Also known asFaye Scruggs
"Atomic Adams"
Fannie Jones
Born (1923-05-22) May 22, 1923 (age 97)
Newark, New Jersey, U.S.
OriginNew York City
GenresGospel, rhythm and blues
Years activelate 1940s – early 1960s
LabelsAtlantic, Herald, Imperial
Associated actsJoe Morris and his Orchestra

Faye Adams (born Fanny Tuell, May 22, 1923) is an American singer who recorded and performed rhythm and blues and gospel from the late 1940s until the early 1960s. She had several chart hits in the early 1950s, before retiring from the music business.[1]


Early years[edit]

Adams was born in Newark, New Jersey. Her father was David Tuell, a gospel singer and a key figure in the Church of God in Christ (COGIC).[1] At the age of five she joined her sisters to sing spirituals, regularly performing on Newark radio shows.

Musical career[edit]

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. Having changed Scruggs's name to Faye Adams, Morris recruited her as a singer in 1952, and signed her to Herald Records. Her first release was Morris's song "Shake a Hand", which topped the US Billboard R&B chart for ten weeks in 1953 and reached number 22 on the US pop chart.[1] It sold one million copies and was awarded a gold disc.[2]

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".[3]

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".[4] 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. Alan Freed called Adams the "little gal with the big voice".[1]

Later life[edit]

By 1963 she had retired from the music industry. She remarried and, as Fannie Jones,[5] returned to her gospel roots and family life in New Jersey.[4]

She was given a Pioneer Award by the Rhythm and Blues Foundation in 1998.[6]

According to music historian and writer Marv Goldberg, it is possible that she may have died on November 2, 2016, but this is unconfirmed.[6]



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"


  1. ^ a b c d Ankeny, Jason. "Biography: Faye Adams". Allmusic. Retrieved 25 May 2010. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins. p. 63. ISBN 0-214-20512-6.
  3. ^ "Timeline of Musical Styles & Guitar History". Acoustic Music. Retrieved March 4, 2021.
  4. ^ a b Colin Larkin, ed. (1995). The Guinness Who's Who of Blues (Second ed.). Guinness Publishing. p. 11. ISBN 0-85112-673-1.
  5. ^ Eagle, Bob; LeBlanc, Eric S. (2013). Blues: A Regional Experience. Santa Barbara, California: Praeger. pp. 264–265. ISBN 978-0313344237.
  6. ^ a b Marv Goldberg, "Faye Adams", 2018. Retrieved 9 March 2021
  7. ^ a b Whitburn, Joel (1996). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942–1995. Record Research. p. 4. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

External links[edit]