Musical Chairs host Adam Wade, singer, actor and drummer dies | hot sheet
According to Hollywood journalist, Wade’s wife, former singer and producer Jeree Wade, confirmed that her beloved husband died Thursday at his home in Montclair, New Jersey. He succumbed to a battle with Parkinson’s disease.
Wade grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He studied at Virginia State University and briefly worked as a laboratory assistant for the famous Dr. Jonas Salk, who developed the polio vaccine. In 1958 he got his first recording opportunity for Coed Records in New York and moved to the Big Apple two years later. Within six months, he was serenading audiences at the city’s legendary nightclub, the Copacabana.
The Pittsburgh singer, influenced by Jesse Belvin, Nat King Cole and Johnny Mathis, had a successful music career before entering the television industry. He scored hits in 1960 with “Ruby” and “I Can’t Help It”. By 1961, Wade had three top 10 singles: “Take Good Care of Her”, “The Writing on the Wall”, and “As If I Didn’t Know”.
In the late 1960s, Wade focused on acting. From commercials to voiceovers, he had several supporting roles in films in the early 1970s, including wanderlove and Tree, followed by Return of the Charleston Blues, Gordon’s War, ghost of paradise, and Claudine. He started appearing on TV in soap operas like The guiding light and black-centric sitcoms like Sanford & Sons, The Jeffersons, and Good time.
In June 1975, Wade made television history when he began hosting the game show Musical chairs, by The HistoryMakers. Contestants would listen to songs, then try to guess the next line of the song and the titles from the three choices presented to them.
In 1983, Wade and his wife started their own production company, Songbird’s Unlimited Productions. They produced many African-American historical revues, including the off-Broadway musical, Shades of Harlem, which opened at the Village Gate in New York in 1983 and ceased touring in 2005. It received Audelco and Clio Awards for its work in direction, production and writing.
In April 2007, Wade toured with the hit Broadway play, The purple colorplaying the role of “Old Mister Johnson”.
Wade is survived by his wife of 33 years and their children Jamel Wade, 61, Patrice L. Wade, 64, and son Sheldon W. Wade, 65, whom he shared with his first wife, Kay A. .Wade.