He may have made TV history as the first black game show host back in the 1970s, but the talents of singer/actor/musician Adam Wade extend far wider. Born Patrick Henry Wade, he grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In the late 1950s 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, his early influences being Johnny Mathis and Nat 'King' Cole. In 1960 he decided to make the journey to New York and pursue his dream. He signed with CoEd Records within a very short time and scored quickly with a string of mild successes including "Ruby" and "I Can't Help It." He also started traveling as a night-club entertainer playing all over the world and highlighting in such important venues as the Copacobana. The next year (1961) proved to be the peak of his recording success with "Take Good Care of Her," "Writing on the Wall" and "As If I Didn't Know" making the charts. Comparisons to Mathis at CoEd Records, however, damaged his momentum and he looked elsewhere, moving to Epic Records. Only one of his singles, "Crying in the Chapel," broke the "Top 100" charts.
In the late 60s Adam discovered voiceover work and started grooving as an actor. After appearing in the national tour of the musical "Hallelujah, Baby!" with Kim Weston and Julius LaRosa, the became a part of the film "blaxploitation" scene of the early 1970s. 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. 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 of the day including "Sanford & Son," "The Jeffersons," "What's Happening" and "Good Times." The handsome actor became the first African-American to host a national television game show with "Musical Chairs" (1975). The resulting attention encouraged him to restart his recording career in a funkier vein on Kirshner Records in 1978 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 forty 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. Formerly married to Kay Wade, with whom he had three children, Adam is currently wed to entertainer Jeree Wade. They perform together on cruise ships and in concerts forums as well as produce shows.
|Jeree P. Wade||(1989 - present)|
|Kay A. Wade||(1956 - 1973) (divorced) 3 children|
He began his recording career for Coed records in 1959 and hit the charts with his first 2 singles "Tell Her For Me" and "Ruby". In 1961 he had scored three U.S. top 10 hits, "Take Good Care of Her", "The Writing on the Wall" and "As If I Didn't Know" .
A two-time Audelco Award Winner as Best Actor in a Romantic Comedy for "There's Still Such a Thing as Love" (1999). Also twice nominated for a Clio Award, he finally won for his commercial Virgin Island "Fifty Dollar Days."
In 1983, "Shades of Harlem" was created by his wife, the singer/actress/playwright Jeree Wade at Brown University via Adam and Jeree's company Songbirds Unlimited Productions. Jeree developed the musical production as a tribute to the Harlem sound she remembered. Adam has directed the production.
Recently served as print ad spokesperson for Nicoderm.
His three children are Sheldon W. Wade, born 5 October 1956; Patrice L. Wade, born 3 December 1957; and Michael Wade, born 28 September 1960, all of whom are from first wife Kay Wade. His children were raised in the Downtown area of Brooklyn, New York, known as Fort Green. The older children were born in Pittsburgh; the youngest, Michael, was born in New York. Sheldon Wade changed his name to Ramel and is currently living in Maryland; Patrice Wade is currently living in Pittsburg under her married name Patrice Johnson and is the inspirational author of two books "Lundyn Bridges" (2007) & "The Wisdom Seed" (2004) and has written and directed the plays "In Your Mirror I See Me", "Sitting on Top of the World" and "Cindy: an Urban Fairytale"; Michael Wade changed his name to Jamel Wade, lives in Maryland, and is currently acting on the HBO series "The Wire" in the reoccurring role of a Drug Lord. He has performed in several local plays in the Baltimore-Washington area, including "Anna Lucasta" and "South Pacific". His credits include actor, director, sound board operator, assistant director and writer.
(2008) Appearing as "Ol' Mister" in the national tour of "The Color Purple."
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