John Charles Arthur Wade

Johnny Wade

Born 9th May, 1916, Died 1st December 1993

Australian Singer & Guitarist

Those who’s early adult life was in the 1940’s and 1950’s would remember Johnny Wade quite fondly. Apart from his success in the clubs, he made over 70 records during his active years as a working musician.

In the short time I spent with him, it was clear that it did not sit well with him, that he was not recognised for his rather significant contribution to the Australian music industry. He is right, who else has made over 70 records in Australia?

His success came with his band, Johnny Wade and the Hawaiians, a band that was clearly dedicated to Hawaiian music, and it is perhaps the reason why he is not held in the high esteem he deserves, as it was not really ‘Australian’ music was it? When you listen to the recordings of the band, it is dominated by pedal steel not surprisingly and does not really show off his skills on the six string sadly.

Johnny Wade’s wife died some years after I had met with him, and he went back out playing the clubs again. I heard reports however that he became a rather bitter and angry man shortly thereafter. Who can blame him, he lost the love of his life and was not recognised for his other great love, music.

Rest in Peace Johnny Wade

The National Film and Sound Archive of Australia have catalogued some of his music. You can check it out for yourself by clicking here.

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