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An almost cult-like figure in the Deep Soul, Southern Soul, and British Northern Soul circles, Tommy Tate started drumming and singing in small clubs in the Jackson, Mississippi area when he was thirteen.

During the 1960s, he recorded singles for ABC-Paramount
, Okeh, Verve, Swing, Atco, Big Ten, and Musicor. On many of these recordings, he was backed by fellow Jacksonians, Tim Whitsett & the Imperial Show Band. In 1965, Tommy began performing with Whitsett’s band (along with Dorothy Moore) and by 1966 he’d become their featured vocalist.  Between 1966 and 1969, Tommy and the Show Band, traveled extensively, performing in New York, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and Canada.
 

 In 1970, Whitsett joined Stax Records and recruited Tommy to the label’s roster. Tommy recorded some 20 tracks for Stax and its distributed label KoKo, and wrote many chart songs for Luther Ingram. In the ‘80s and ‘90s, he cut one album for Frederick Knight’s Juana label, two LPs for Tim Whitsett’s Urgent! Records, dozens of sides for the Sundance label, and wrote numerous songs for Malaco artists Bobby Blue Bland, Johnnie Taylor, Little Milton, et al.

Tommy Tate’s singing and songwriting career came to an unfortunate and premature end in 2002 when he suffered a debilitating stroke. But he continues to gain new fans as his recordings keep appearing in compilations and new formats.

 

 
 


WALKING AWAY
I FORGOT TO BE YOUR LOVER
STAND BY ME
DON’T MAKE ME EXPLAIN
I REMEMBER
ONE LOVE
ALWAYS
GET IT OVER ANYWAY
SANITY
WHEN A FOOL TAKES HIS TURN
HARD TIMES S.O.S.
CAUGHT UP
PUSH PUSH
ALL OR NOTHING

 

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