RIP: Stan Wade

The Trammps
The Trammps with Stan Wade (top left)

We’re sad to hear that Stan Wade, singer and occasional bassist with The Trammps, passed away in January 2021 from complications following Covid. The Trammps were the Philly band that had a runaway hit with the single “Disco Inferno”, which featured prominently in the hit musical “Saturday Night Fever” in 1977. The track was released twice and hit the n° 11 spot in the Billboard charts the second time.

But The Trammps – and Stan – go back to the sixties and the doo-wap band such as The Volcanoes and Zing. We started working with Stan in the eighties, when he was living in Antwerp, Belgium. We recorded material for him and he also contributed his voice and wisdom to tracks for George Williams and others.

So long, Stan. And thanks for everything.


Stan Wade

Could The Trammps have come from anywhere other than Philadelphia? Jimmy Ellis, Harold Doc Wade, Stanley Wade and Earl Young grew up with doo-wop groups ringing in their ears and went on to build one of the most formidable soul/disco bands. After extensive touring, the hits came fast and strong: Zing Went the Strings Of My Heart, originally recorded by Judy Garland in 1943, reached #17 on the R&B chart and #64 on the pop charts.

With Buddha Records, they recorded the irresistible Hold Back The Night which reached #40 on the pop charts and #10 on the R&B charts and Where Do We Go From Here, reaching #44 on the R&B charts in 1974. With Atlantic Records from 1975, the Trammps struck gold with Hooked for Life and Where the Happy People Go. Other Trammps hits on Atlantic included, Disco Party, Body Contact, I Fell Like I’ve Been Livin’, The Night The Lights Went Out, and Soul Bones, with Stevie Wonder on harmonica.

Their defining song, however, is clearly Disco Inferno probably the best-known song in disco – and a wonderful example of the full, big-band disco sound straight from Philadelphia. They were favourites at New York’s most popular club, 2001 Space Odyssey, the location for the motion picture, Saturday Night Fever. The soundtrack for the movie, which included Disco Inferno, was the industry’s biggest selling album to date and won the Trammps a Grammy Award in 1979. 

Through all the touring, hits and madness, Stan Wade held down the bass end, while also adding falsetto vocals on harmony. He later revived the band and used to tour until fairly recently.


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