AFRO-AMERICAN MUSIC INSTITUTE CELEBRATES 36 YEARS
Pain Relief Beyond Belief
Adam Wade (Born Patrick Henry Wade) grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He achieved renown as an American singer, drummer, television, movie and stage actor and director. He is noted for his stint as the host of the 1975 CBS game show Musical Chairs, which made him the first African-American game show host.
In the 1950s after graduating from Westinghouse High School, he served as part of the research team for Dr. Jonas Salk who invented the polio vaccine. In 1959, he switched to performing and found in himself a smooth, gifted vocalist, compared to Johnny Mathis and Nat 'King' Cole. In 1960 he signed with CoEd Records within a very short time and scored with a string of mild successes including "Ruby" and "I Can't Help It."
In 1961 three of Wade's recordings Take Good Care of Her (#7), As If I Didn't Know (#10) and The Writing on the Wall (#5) made the Top 10 in the Billboard Hot 100 chart. These songs also made the Top 5 of Billboard's Easy Listening (later Adult Contemporary) survey. Take Good Care of Her reached #38 in the UK Singles chart in June 1961. He released the following albums in the UK: 1961 Adam and Evening, Adam Wade: One Is A Lonely Number, both in 1962. He also released an EP in 1960, And Then Came Adam. His achievements have led to him traveling as a night-club entertainer playing all over the world and highlighting in such important venues as the Copacobana and Club Harlem.
After appearing in the national tour of the musical Hallelujah, Baby! with Kim Weston and Julius LaRosa, he starred in the production Guys and Dolls in 1978, and hosted the talk show Mid-Morning LA. On TV he was seen in the soaps "The Guiding Light" and "Search for Tomorrow," and was a familiar presence on the popular black-oriented sitcoms such as "Sanford & Son," "The Jeffersons," "What's Happening" and "Good Times.” In the late 1970s and early 1980s Wade appeared in several of the so-called blaxploitation movies, including Gordon's War. His latest theatrical appearance was with the 2008 touring company of the play The Color Purple. He bounced around in a few hip support roles such as Shaft (1971), Come Back, Charleston Blue (1972), Across 110th Street (1972) and The Education of Sonny Carson (1974), among others. His other work besides in the soaps television included prime time television shows (Hill Street Blues, Queens Supreme, Dukes of Hazard, Police Woman, B.J. and the Bear, Adam 12 and Law & Order.
After a brief return to his recording career in 1978 in a funkier vein on Kirshner Records with songs including "Alexander's Soul Time Band," he returned to acting and in 1978 co-starred in an all-black cast of "Guys and Dolls" starring Leslie Uggams in Las Vegas. He also gave able support in such films as Texas Lightning (1981) and Kiss Me Goodbye (1982). An occasional stage director ("Cafe Society," "Guys and Dolls"), the gray-haired actor understudied Ben Vereen on Broadway in "I'm Not Rappaport" in 2002, and subsequently appeared in the movie Brother to Brother (2004).
He took time out to go back to school (after 40 years) and earned his BA and Master's degrees at Lehman College and Brooklyn College. He has been a speech and theater adjunct at LIU and Bloomfield College for some time and appears frequently on the L.A.-area stage.
Adam is a two time Audelco Award Winner and was twice nominated for Clio Awards, winning for his commercial Virgin Island Fifty Dollar Day.
Wade and his wife Jeree have a music production firm, Songbird Unlimited whose headquarters are in New Jersey.