Not be confused with the jazz leader from the 1980s on, singer and songwriter Greg Adams was born into a musical family in Toronto in 1948. His mother sang in the church choir and his father was part of several low level doo-wop groups and early folk trios around the area.
After graudation, he enrolled in Loyola University and majored in Communications. He soaked up Montreal’s musical environment, and combining it with his own Toronto pop influences, began playing the coffeehouses around town. Developing his own brand of folk/pop, he gained a following and was offered an acting role in Paul Almond’s film, “Journey.”
Instead, he moved back to Toronto and took a writing job at Sporting Good News, all the while continuing to write his own material with hopes of landing a recording deal. That came in late 1972, when reps at A&M Records were impressed with some demos he’d sent them. They took a chance and released the single, “Take The Road” b/w “Close” the next spring. Without making a splash, the label dropped him and he went back to writing, and also landed a few low key acting roles. While writing some radio jingles, he met several other writers, including Eric Robertson.
Adams’ friendship with Robertson would come back into play in the mid ’70s. As songwriters, they scored penning some of Roger Whittaker’s biggest hits – including “Don’t Let ‘Em Change,” “Time For Peace,” “New Love,” “Darcy The Dragon, “I’ll Be There,” “Love Lasts Forever,” the 1978 German chart-topper “River Lady,” and the holiday favourites – “Home For Christmas” and “Christmas Song.” They also continued to write jingles together, for both radio and TV, and for the educational program called “Readalong.”
But still looking for a solo recording career, Adams found a home at Attic Records in early 1976. He was already living in Atlanta, and so as not to interrupt his other projects on the go, and also for inspiration, he stayed in Dixie and booked time at The Sound Pit with the team of Sonny Limbo and Mickey Buckins. He assembled some backing musicians, and released the single “Hold On” b/w “Tell Me Girl” in the summer of 1977. His self-titled debut album followed shortly after, and further singles “Serene Serene” and “Come Running” showed promise, and kept him on the road across Ontario, making a few stops out west and Stateside along the way. Also noteable was “Country Music Cider Wine,” co-written with Eric Robertson, and indicative of an album that blended a folk roots feel to a modern pop beat with the occasional ballad.
He returned with RUNAWAY DREAMS in early 1979, again recorded in Dixie with Buckins. The lead single was a collaborative effort, and “Leave Me (The Way You Found Me)” (later taken to the top 10 by Anne Murray) was followed by “Lady Liberty.” The album followed much in its predecessor’s path, but neither single made a dent in the charts, and Attic was growing disillusioned. They dropped him from their roster by that fall.
Undeterred, Adams signed with Epic and released the US-only single “Need To Be Right” before the end of the year. Despite intending to release a full album the following spring, the label gave the single no support, and the proposed album was scrapped.
He moved to New York and Vermont, where he continued writing for others and doing some jingle and production work, and performed occasionally in low key venues throughout the US and in Canada. He died of complications of stress on September 26, 2008.
Attic Records 1979
Tracks: Leave Me (The Way You Found Me), Too Late To Love You, Need To Be Right, If You Think I Can, Lonely Girl, We’re In It Together, The Way We Love, Lady Liberty, Can’t Get Over You & Runaway Dream.
Musicians on the Runaway Dreams album: Greg Adams, Roger Hawkins, David Hood, Joe Osborne, Bob Wray, Jimmy Johnson, Larry Byrom, Ken Bell, Barry Beckett, Mickey Buckins, Harvey Thompson, Lenny Leblanc, Eddie Struzick & Thom Flora.
Attic Records 1977
Tracks: Hold On, Serene Serene, Hurtin’ Songs, Come Runnin’, Mediterranean Lady, Stay While You Can, Say You Do, Take The Chance, Tell Me Girl, Country Music Cider Wine & Every Wheel.
Musicians on the Greg Adams album: Greg Adams, Roy Yeager, Tom Robb, Steve Buckingham, Shelton Irwin
Keyboards: Randy McCormick, Tim Henson, Ted Stovall, Buddy Spicher, Marvin Taylor, Mickey Buckins, Donna Rhodes, Sandra Rhodes, Charles Chalmers & Mickey Buckins.