CHICAGO, April 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Joe Adams, the man who served as the late Ray Charles' manager for more than 45 years, will stop by Columbia College Chicago on Tuesday, April 25th to speak to the Columbia community about his many careers and his longevity in the entertainment industry. The discussion will be held at Columbia's Film Row Cinema, 1104 S. Wabash, 8th Floor from 10 a.m. to noon and is free and open to the public. For further information call 312.344.7418. In 1959 as Ray Charles was embarking on his first Big Band tour he asked Joe Adams, a friend from his radio days, to join him on tour for a month. Adams said yes, and has been with the Ray Charles organization ever since -- although until this day he says he was never "officially" hired. Two years prior, Joe had retired from a successful career in radio and television and had recently completed a two-year run on Broadway in "Jamaica" alongside Lena Horne and Ricardo Montalban. Adams always aspired to be a radio announcer, but knew there was not much possibility for a black man to have a career as a radio announcer at the time. He taught himself the art of public speaking by speaking out loud in vacant lots and later tutored actors preparing for roles at major motion picture studios. He began his radio career with several Hollywood stations in the mid- 1940s. He received his first on-air opportunity at Santa Monica station KOWL. Within two years he had moved from 15 minutes of airtime a day to a five-and- a-half hour show and the number-one rated deejay show in Los Angeles. In 1947 he moved into television with his two name-sake shows: "Adams Alley" and "Joe Adams Presents," produced for CBS affiliate station KLAC-TV in Los Angeles. During these early days of television, Adams' two shows were among the most popular shows at the time. His format of using top named stars and musicians made him one of the television pioneers of that era. The musical themes for Joe's two broadcast shows "Take the A Train" and "Smada" (Adams spelled backwards) were recorded by Duke Ellington. Adams has appeared in more than 26 motion pictures. His two most notable roles were Husky Miller in "Carmen Jones" and as Frank Sinatra's psychiatrist in "The Manchurian Candidate." "Joe has over four decades of experience in the entertainment industry. His expertise as an arts manager, musician, on-air radio and television personality and Broadway actor is dead-on with what we teach here at Columbia," says Dr. Eric V.A. Winston, Interim Vice President of Institutional Advancement at Columbia College. "I met Joe several years ago and had the pleasure of working with him while at Wilberforce University in Ohio. With Joe's help and support, Ray Charles donated $2 million to Wilberforce to establish two endowments. In May, Columbia will graduate approximately 2,000 students many of whom will seek employment in the entertainment industry. I think having Joe here at this time to give our students a first-person account into this very diverse industry is of great benefit to our students." As an arts manager in Ray Charles' various organizations, Adams has many roles and responsibilities. As Mr. Charles' business manager he had a reputation as a shrewd negotiator and personally negotiated all of Ray's business deals including his award-winning series of commercials for Pepsi Cola. In his role as Vice President/CEO of RPM International, he oversees the business activities of the parent company as well as Ray Charles Enterprises, which includes the activities of the Ray Charles Orchestra and the Raelettes. For a brief period after joining the Ray Charles organization, Adams briefly held the position of Executive Vice President of Queen Booking Company, which was once the largest African American owned booking agency in the United States. In 1958 he was the first African American to receive the "Golden Globe" award for Outstanding New Actor. Adams is the recipient of several awards and honorary degrees. A special educational facility is being built in his and his wife's name at Morehouse College in Atlanta, where a performing arts center is also being built in memory of Ray Charles. Columbia College Chicago, an urban institution committed to access, opportunity, and excellence in higher education, provides innovative practice and education in the visual, performing, media and communication arts to 11,000 students in more than 90 undergraduate and graduate programs. Founded in 1890 as a communications school for women, Columbia was revisioned in 1963 as a liberal arts college with a "hands-on, minds-on" approach to arts and media education and a progressive social agenda. Under the modern leadership of President Warrick L. Carter, Ph.D., Columbia is aggressively pursuing its mission to bring a richness of vision and a multiplicity of voices to the creation of culture through the diversity of our students and graduates. For further information visit http://www.colum.edu .
SOURCE Columbia College Chicago