Biography: Smith-Wade Band
SMITH-WADE is one of the best known bands in Virginia and calls Williamsburg home. Started by Dick Smith and Cabot Wade in 1971, the band has played venues from South Carolina to New Hampshire and out to Denver and western Canada. SMITH-WADE has been a commercial music act gearing itself to the audience, sometimes flowing with, and other times bucking the current musical trend. Their music moves from acoustic ballads through standards, Top 40 and on out to good time rock 'n roll.
In the last few years, SMITH-WADE has performed at the Dunes Golf and Country Club in Myrtle Beach and in New York City for the cast and crew party for the Universal Pictures movie, The Paper, directed by Ron Howard and starring Michael Keaton and Glenn Close. Other events were for Ball Container Corp. of Boulder, Colorado and a special show for an NBC sports director in New Jersey. SMITH-WADE often plays in the Washington D.C. area and not long ago a wedding took the band to horse country around Lexington, Kentucky. Recently the band performed for a reception at Princeton University in New Jersey.
For almost nine years, SMITH-WADE's musical home in Williamsburg has been the Anheuser-Busch resort of Kingsmill where they are featured during the annual PGA Tournament. Most nights of the year the band is found at Kingsmill, but it also performs at more than forty special events a year. Thousands have seen them at Hampton's Bay Days and Chesapeake Jubilee festivals as well as Williamsburg's annual July Fourth Ice Cream Social. Corporations, such as General Electric, Ruby Tuesday's, Citicorp, Ditchwitch, Krispy Kreme and others, have featured Smith-Wade's good time party atmosphere at their conferences.
The College of William and Mary has employed SMITH-WADE for black tie faculty and donor events. The band was the featured live entertainment for William and Mary's Tercentennial Birthday celebration at Busch Gardens. Students packed their four consecutive performances at the annual King and Queen ball. They also played at Water Country USA when they were chosen over many area bands by Busch Gardens to perform for US Olympic Team athletes in the company's promotion "Victory Lap '96."
Many SMITH-WADE Saturday afternoons are filled with wedding receptions. The events range from the traditional black tie, highly-structured affairs to receptions in cut-offs and swimsuits. Most of them end as the reception the attendees will never forget. "Hot Tips for Wedding Receptions" is a paper gleaned from the band's hundreds of reception appearances.
Longtime friend, John Tracy, started working with the band in 1981 when he played bass on Cabot's twenty song rock opera, Artie King And The Circle T Gang. He permanently joined Smith-Wade a few years later as a vocalist and bass player. Smith and Wade met Tracy in Colorado during a tour with an international road show. Individually or together the men have performed in more than twenty-five countries of Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America as well as through out the United States and Canada.
John Shaffer has been with the band since 1985 and is the first SMITH-WADE drummer who could sing well. Few bands have the luxury of four lead vocalists, but John makes the band four-for-four with his additional lead vocals and harmonies. Smith, Wade, and Tracy write and have performed their original songs as an active part of the band's repertoire.
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