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Len Wade Vs. Willie Wade


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Does anyone know if these two singers are really the same person? I hate just speculating like this but they have very similar voices which itself is very distinctive. Thanks for any ideas.

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I doubt if they're the same person. Len Wade and his career are fairly well documented from his band The Tikis to the later soul material cut with Finley Duncan and Buddy Killen. He has been acclaimed as being responsible for one of the best blue-eyed soul ballad 45s ever made in the shape of the Dial release "It Comes And Goes".

Willie Wade would appear to be Wilbur Wade of The Jades of "I'm Where It's At" fame on Nite LIfe. The credits of the two Nite Life 45s seem to suggest a New Orleans origin for the records. Whether they are the same Jades as on another New Orleans release "Lucky Fellow" on Mode is open to debate.

I remember talking to Tim Brown years ago about the Willie Wade 45 and he was 100% convinced that the artist was white. I wasn't so sure then and still aren't. "I'm Where It's At" is deliberately quite garage-y whereas Willie Wade channels Little Anthony and Smokey Robinson on the other Nite Life 45. Some of the phrasing on those slower tracks makes me think he may not be a white guy but with New Orleans soul it's sometimes quite hard to tell. I was very surprised recently to learn that Lonnie (Louis) Jones on Jenmark and Decca was apparently a white singer.

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Guest Paul


I really don't think Len Wade and Willie Wade are connected. And I spoke with Len once and I'm sure he would have mentioned something.

'It Comes And It Goes' is probably the most convincing example of deep soul by a white man. Len was obviously a big Ray Charles fan.

Millbrand control publishing rights to 'It Comes And It Goes' and we almost got it featured in a movie about five years ago. Another song was selected at the last moment purely because the lyrics were more appropriate for the scene.


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Guest Paul

So was I

Hello John,

It might be worth having a thread about soulful white singers who sound black.


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I remember talking to Tim Brown years ago about the Willie Wade 45 and he was 100% convinced that the artist was white.

Brownie was once similarly convinced that Sims recording artist Jarvis Jackson was white, so I wouldn't put a lot of faith in that theory... :D

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Sorry I never responded, I want to thank everyone for responding with info. What prompted the question was getting the Dial 45, it's very much in the same style of "when push comes to shove". Listening more the voices don't sound that similar, I guess it was just the weird similarity in style of the song that made me think they might be the same person. Thanks again.

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