Wade Tower breezes into a Bricktown restaurant like a summer wind on a chilly December day. His snappy suit is reminiscent of Don Draper of “Mad Men,” and his easy smile hints at the tone of the music he sings.
Tower croons tunes from the 1940s to modern hits and now has a Christmas album for this holiday season.
Hear the man himself at “Martinis & Mistletoe,” 7:30 p.m. Dec. 21 at Stillwater Community Center.
Tower was bitten by the entertainment bug as a child. Born in Chickasha, his first stage appearance was as Joseph in his church's Christmas play. He was 5.
“That was it,” he said.
His parents moved to Stillwater soon after and realized their son was serious about his career choice.
“In school, I was asked to write what I wanted to be when I grew up,” he said. “I said I wanted to be famous like Bobby Goldsboro.”
By the time he was a fifth-grader, he was taking voice and acting lessons.
His passion was fueled by evenings spent watching old movies with his mom.
“I loved Bing Crosby, Clark Gable and Fred Astaire,” he said.
He graduated from high school a year early and started school at Oklahoma State University on a theater scholarship.
He went one semester before being cast in a small role in the 1985 TV movie shot in Oklahoma City, “Surviving.” The movie starred Molly Ringwald, River Phoenix, Ellen Burstyn, Len Cariou, Zach Galligan, Marsha Mason and Paul Sorvino.
“My character didn't even have a name. I got into a fight with Zach Galligan,” he said.
He went to Los Angeles that fall and returned to Oklahoma the next spring to star in an independent horror movie, “The Ripper.”
His next movie, also an independent horror film, had a lot more star power.
“Revenge” starred John Carradine and Patrick Wayne.
Both movies were directed by actress Loretta Young's son, Christopher Lewis.
He had been cast in his first leading role for a TV movie to be called “Best Foot Forward” when things fell apart and his movie career ended.
He went to work for his father and fed his love of performing by singing in church.
A conference in Utah 13 years ago changed his life again.
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