Adam Wade, the singer and actor who also made history as the first black man to host a network game show, has died. He was 87 years old. Wade hosted the CBS game show in 1975 Musical chairs and scored hits with “Take Good Care of Her”, “The Writing on the Wall”, and “As If I Didn’t Know”.
Wade died July 7 at his home in Montclair, New Jersey, following a battle with Parkinson’s disease, his wife Jeree Wade said. The Hollywood Reporter. He also leaves to mourn his children, Ramel, Patrice, Jamel and Layoya; and his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Wade made history in 1975 when he hosted Musical chairs, a short-lived CBS game show created by Don Kirshner and Jerry Schnur. A CBS affiliate in Alabama refused to air the show. In 2014, Wade said Connecticut Public Radio he received hate messages from viewers. Only 95 episodes were produced before the show was canceled.
“I am on [the show’s producers] hid some of the letters from me, so I wouldn’t get mad,” Wade recalls. the guy hands out the money and the smarts.”
Although the show didn’t last long, Wade said it helped his career. “It probably added 30 years to my career,” Wade recalled. “It’s crazy. You’re nobody, then you’re somebody, and then you’re nobody before you snap your fingers. As my friend, the great singer Billy Eckstine, once told me , ‘Show business is the only business in the world where you can go to bed like a star, and wake up the next day, and be on the other side where no one knows your name.'”
Wade was born in Pittsburgh on March 17, 1935. After high school, he attended Virginia State University but dropped out during his sophomore year. Wade promised his grandmother that he would finish college, he said in 2014. He finally made it at 60 when he graduated from Brooklyn College and Lehman College.
After working as a lab technician for Dr. Jonas Salk, Wade turned to music. In 1959 he signed with Coed Records and released a hit single the following year with “Ruby”. His musical career took off in 1961 with the Top 10 hits “Take good care of her,” “The writing on the wall” and “As if I didn’t know.” His voice has earned him comparisons to Johnny Mathis, but he said Connecticut Public Radio he was really influenced by Nat King Cole.
Although Wade had a few other chart singles for the remainder of the 1960s, he began to focus more on acting in the early 1970s. In 1971, he had a role in Tree and scored parts in Across 110th Street and the underrated 1974 film Claudine with James Earl Jones and Diahann Carroll. He could also be spotted in episodes of Good Times, The Dukes of Hazzard, The Jeffersons, Hill Street Blues, True Blueand a 2004 episode of Law and order. He also performed at a regional theater and was Ben Vereen’s understudy for the 2002 Broadway production of I am not Rappaport.