Singer, actor, host of a landmark game show was 87 – The Hollywood Reporter

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Singer, actor, host of a landmark game show was 87 - The Hollywood Reporter

Adam Wade, the suave singer and actor who had three top 10 hits on the Billboard 100 in 1961 and has appeared in films, among other things Wave, Crazy Joe and claudine before he made history as a game show host, has died. He was 87.

Wade died Thursday at his home in Montclair, New Jersey after a battle with Parkinson’s disease, his wife, singer Jeree Wade, said The Hollywood Reporter.

The Pittsburgh crooner drew comparisons to Johnny Mathis when he hit No. 7 in 1961 with the romantic ballads “Take Good Care of Her” (the tune was later recorded by Elvis Presley), “The Writing on the Wall” (No. 5) and “As if I didn’t know” (No. 10).

In a 2014 interview, Wade said he was “trying to emulate Nat King Cole, my childhood idol, not Johnny Mathis. I guess that tells you how good my mimicry skills were.”

In June 1975, Wade became the first black person to host a network game show with him Trip to Jerusalem, created by Don Kirshner. Recorded at the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York, it featured participants trying to find the right lyrics and song titles with the help of acts such as The Spinners, Sister Sledge and Irene Cara.

Wade said a CBS affiliate in Alabama refused to air Trip to Jerusalem because he was the host and that the producers received a lot of hate mail before the show went off the air in October, despite its popularity.

“I’m sure [they] hid some of the letters from me,” Wade said, “so I wouldn’t get upset. One I saw was from a guy who used all sorts of swear words and said he didn’t want his wife to sit at home and watch the black guy hand out the money and smarts.”

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Adam Wade in 1961
Courtesy of the Everett Collection

Patrick Henry Wade was born on March 17, 1935 and graduated from Westinghouse High School in Pittsburgh in 1952. He studied science at Virginia State University and worked as a laboratory technician under Dr. Jonas Salk, who developed the polio vaccine in the 1950s.

Wade signed to Coed Records in late 1959 and quickly hit the charts with “Ruby,” a cover of the title track from the 1952 Jennifer Jones film Ruby Gentryand “Tell her for me.”

When Wade arrived in New York City, one of the first musicians he worked with was Freddy Cole, Nat’s brother, and before he knew it he was opening up Tony Bennett at Copacabana and performing on the game show Tell the truth.

After his first two albums, 1960s And then came Adam and 1961s Adam and eveningWade signed with Epic Records to replace Mathis on the chart but never found the success he found with Coed.

Wade made his acting debut in a 1966 episode of Tarzan and appeared up The FBI and Adam-12 before it hits the big screen Wave (1971), Come back Charleston Blue (1972), Via 110th street (1972), Gordon’s War (1973), Crazy Joe (1974), phantom of paradise (1974) and claudine (1974) starring Diahann Carroll and James Earl Jones.

Wade’s TV resume is also included Look for tomorrow, Sanford & Son, The Jeffersons, What’s happening!!, Policewoman, kojak, Good times, The Dukes of Hazzard and The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo.

After that, he returned to recording Trip to Jerusalem and understudy for Ben Vereen on Broadway in I’m not Rappaport in 2002. He has also done a lot of regional theater.

Wade met Jeree on the set of Trip to Jerusalemand they married in 1989. They appeared frequently together, including in the play On Kentucky Avewhich he wrote and directed.

Also among the survivors are his children, Ramel, Patrice, Jamel, and Latoya, and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

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