Adam Wade

Adam Wade (born Patrick Henry Wade, March 17, 1935, in Pittsburgh) is an American singer, songwriter and actor. He was the voice of Sweet Lou Dunbar aka Gizmo Man on The Super Globetrotters.


He may have made TV history as the first black game show host back in the 1970s, but the talents of singer/actor/musician Adam Wade extend far wider. Born Patrick Henry Wade, he grew up in Pittsburgh. In the late 1950s, he served as part of the research team for Dr. Jonas Salk, who invented the polio vaccine. In 1959, he switched to performing and found in himself a smooth, gifted vocalist, his early influences being Johnny Mathis and Nat "King" Cole. In 1960, he decided to make the journey to New York and pursue his dream. He signed with CoEd Records within a very short time and scored quickly with a string of mild successes, including "Ruby" and "I Can't Help It". He also started traveling as a night-club entertainer playing all over the world and highlighting in such important venues as the Copacobana. The next year (1961) proved to be the peak of his recording success, with three songs on the charts: "Take Good Care of Her," "Writing on the Wall" and "As if I Didn't Know". Comparisons to Mathis at CoEd Records, however, damaged his momentum and he looked elsewhere, moving to Epic Records. Only one of his singles, "Crying in the Chapel", broke the "Top 100" charts.

In the late 1960s, Wade discovered voiceover work and started grooving as an actor. After appearing in the national tour of the musical Hallelujah, Baby! with Kim Weston and Julius LaRosa, then became a part of the film "blaxploitation" scene of the early 1970s. He bounced around in a few hip support roles such as Shaft (1971), Come Back, Charleston Blue (1972), Across 110th Street (1972) and The Education of Sonny Carson (1974). On TV, he was seen in the soaps Guiding Light and Search for Tomorrow, and was a familiar presence on the popular black-oriented sitcoms of the decade, including Sanford & Son, The Jeffersons, What's Happening!! and Good Times.

The handsome actor became the first African-American to host a national television game show, with Musical Chairs (1975) on CBS. The resulting attention encouraged him to restart his recording career in a funkier vein on Kirshner Records in 1978 with such songs as "Alexander's Soul Time Band". Wade returned to acting, and in 1978 co-starred in an all-black cast of Guys and Dolls starring Leslie Uggams in Las Vegas. He also gave able support in such films as Texas Lightning (1981) and Kiss Me Goodbye (1982). An occasional stage director (Cafe Society, Guys and Dolls), the gray-haired actor understudied Ben Vereen on Broadway in I'm Not Rappaport in 2002, and subsequently appeared in the movie Brother to Brother (2004). Wade took time out to go back to school (after 40 years) and earned his bachelor of arts and master's degrees at Lehman College and Brooklyn College. He has been a speech and theater adjunct at LIU and Bloomfield College for some time and appears frequently on the L.A.-area stage. Formerly married to Kay Wade, with whom he had three children, Wade is currently wed to entertainer Jeree Wade. They perform together on cruise ships and in concerts forums as well as produce shows.

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