Adam Wade – 1977 – Adam Wade
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American singer, actor and drummer Adam Wade began to pursue a recording career in 1959 while working as a lab assistant with Dr. Jonas Salk on the polio research team. He scored his first major hit with “Ruby” in early 1960, with a vocal style which drew comparisons to Johnny Mathis.
Wade quickly became quite popular and in 1961 scored three Top Ten hits on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. In 1975, Wade become the first African-American to host a television game show, and by the late 1970’s began to concentrate on acting. Presented here is Wade’s classic 1977 self-titled album, a soul/pop gem.
Amazon Review By George O’Leary
Completist collectors of original hit singles and their B-sides remain frustrated by the inability to get, in a quality CD, the original versions of the nationally charting singles registered for Coed Records by singer/drummer and actor Adam Wade (born on March 17, 1937 in Pittsburgh and who once worked as a laboratory assistant with the renowned Dr. Jonas Salk, the discoverer of the polio vaccine). From 1960 to 1962 he chalked up 13 (counting 4 Billboard Pop Hot 100 Bubble Under entries) and two LPs for the label launched in New York City’s Brill Building in 1958 by George Paxton and Marvin Cane. And there is reason to believe that NONE of this music has yet been reformatted for CD!
Some were fooled for a while in 1993 when Collectables came out with their 12-track reformatting of his “greatest hits” – which, it turns out, was merely a conversion of the 1962 LP of the same title released by Columbia subsidiary Epic BN-24019 and which, produced by Joe Rene, to most ears familiar with his hits they did definitely sound like the real thing. And since there was nothing on the LP sleeve (or the CD jewel case for that matter) to SAY they were re-recordings, many bought in – including me. But now we know for certain these were newly recorded in 1962.
As for his move to the much larger Epic, to say that it did not pay off from a commercial aspect would be putting it mildly, as his only nationally-charting entries there were the Dec 1962 # 104 Hot 100 Bubble Under cover of the 1954 Tony Bennett hit There’ll Be No Teardrops Tonight b/w Here Comes The Pain as Epic 9557, the Feb 1963 # 117 Hot 100 Bubble Under cover of the 1962 Carl Butler Country smash Don’t Let Me Cross Over b/w Rain From The Skies as Epic 9566, and the Jan-Feb 1965 cover of the 1953 Darrell Glenn Country hit, Crying In The Chapel, which reached # 20 Adult Contemporary but could only managed a # 88 Hot 100 b/w Broken Hearted Stranger as Epic 9752. Nor did his 3 other LPs released by Epic do particularly well, and it was this sudden indifference to his music, largely based on covers, that more or less prompted him to abandon the business and pursue an acting career sometime in 1969.
Stardom in that medium would never materialize, but he did find steady work in episodes of T.V. series and in film, including one due out this year called Drug Affected. He also kept his hand in the music business with a 1977 LP for Kirshner Records simply titled “Adam Wade” (Kirshner PZ-34919), which is what you see here converted to CD in 2011 by Essential Media Group using the same title and cover. All 11 sides in this collection were recorded in 1977 and, with the album distributed through Columbia, you hear a different approach by Adam as he tries out a new “funkier” sound to get away from endless comparisons to Johnny Mathis. It isn’t half bad but in the end it failed to generate much renewed interest in his singing career.