Adam Wade, Singer/Musician, and First Black U.S. Game Show Host Dies at 87

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

Beloved entertainer Adam Wade died on July 7 after losing his battle with Parkinson’s disease. He was 87.

His passing was made known via a Facebook post with a message from his family. “It is with deep sadness that we inform you of the passing of our husband, father, brother, friend, Adam Wade,” they wrote. “Arrangements are being made for his memorial and we will keep you updated; it is a great loss for everyone who knew and loved him. Please keep our family in your prayers. With deep sorrow, The Wade Family ❤.”

Wade first found the spotlight by pursuing his music career in the late 1950s. In the early 1960s, Wade saw commercial and critical success with three of his songs charting on the Billboard Hot 100: “Take Good Care of Her” (No. 7), “As If I Didn’t Know” (No. 10), and “The Writing on the Wall” (No. 5). The singer often cited Nat King Cole as one of his biggest musical inspirations.

Then, in the ’70s, Wade turned to acting and TV appearances. Notably, Wade became the first Black game show host in the United States in 1975 with the premiere of Musical Chairs. Some of his other TV appearances included roles in Search for TomorrowSanford & SonThe JeffersonsWhat’s Happening!!Police WomanKojakGood TimesThe Dukes of Hazzard, and The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo.

Wade later returned to music and released his self-titled album in 1977.

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