Arthur Adams Biography

Medon, Tennessee, USA. Adams learned to play guitar from his mother by copying her finger positions, and formed a band with his cousins called the Gospel Travellers, which toured Tennessee and Arkansas. However, the band broke up and Adams’ attention turned to education. He won a work scholarship to Tennessee State University to study singing, but left after only three months. In 1959, he started hanging out with musicians at the Club Baron in Nashville. Inspired, he bought a guitar and amplifier from a pawn shop and toured with Jimmy Beck’s band. It seemed as if Adams’ future was assured when the band supported Gene Allison on a subsequent tour. However, Allison abandoned the band in Dallas after an argument with a promoter. Adams regained his confidence through the support of fellow musicians, and began playing the Empire Room and other clubs. During this time, he made several R&B singles with different record companies, including Jamie Records, Duchess Records and Ted Jarrett’s Valdot Records.

In 1964, Adams moved to Los Angeles to pursue a connection with Vee Jay Records, and immediately began work for them playing sessions and recording demos. Among others, Adams worked with the Jackson Five, Henry Mancini, Lou Rawls, Sonny Bono and Nancy Wilson. He had success with his songwriting too, with Quincy Jones covering Adams’ ‘Love And Peace’ on his Walking In Space (1969). After the success of his own single in the same year, Adams was signed by Bob Krasnow for his debut album, It’s Private Tonight, named after the single. The album featured the Crusaders’ Joe Sample (keyboards) and Wilton Felder (saxophone). Adams continued with two mid-70s recordings for Fantasy Records, Home Brew and Midnight Serenade, both of which had a funk flavour. I Love Love Love My Lady was an unfortunate foray into disco.

After touring as Nina Simone’s bass player in 1985 and generally slowing down, Adams finally returned to the studio in 1999 for the excellent Back On Track, which featured his long-time friend B.B. King as guest artist. Adams also works as house band leader at King’s blues club in Universal City, Los Angeles.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

Filter Results