A lot of crooners have shown up on the ol’ GMC, but one of the most versatile would have to be Adam Wade. A skilled drummer and a smooth and silky singer in the mold of Johnny Mathis, he has had a fascinating life that includes everything from academia to acting — and he also holds the distinction of the being the first African-American TV game show host!
A Pittsburgh native, Patrick Henry Wade might have been destined for a show business career, but as a young man in the 1950s he worked as an assistant in the lab of Dr. Jonas Salk during the development of the polio vaccine. However, by the close of the decade he was pursuing a musical career in New York, where he soon found success in the form of club dates and a recording contract.
During the early 1960s he generated a number of nicely selling records, including Top Ten hits on “As If I Didn’t Know,” “Writing On The Wall,” and “Take Good Care Of Her.” And even though record sales began to slow down later in the decade, Wade soon began to find success as an actor, beginning with voice-overs and quickly graduating to parts in a number of TV shows and movies.
As the years passed Wade continued to find many acting roles, while also trying his hand at something a little different in 1976 when he hosted TV’s Musical Chairs. Although the show didn’t last, it inspired him to again hit the recording studio and make a few well-received records. In the years since he has continued to act in select parts, and has also found the time to further his education. At last report, he was doing just fine on all fronts.