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Tommy Tate has been called “America's best kept secret” and “The greatest singer you've never heard.” An almost cult-like figure in Deep Soul, Southern Soul, and British Northern Soul circles, Tommy started drumming and singing in small clubs in the Jackson, Mississippi area.
 

During the 1960s, he recorded singles for ABC-Paramount, Okeh, Verve, Swing, Atco, Big Ten, and Musicor. In 1970, legendary songsmith Mack Rice recruited Tommy’ to sing lead on two Stax singles by The Nightingales.
 

In 1971, Johnny Baylor signed Tommy to his label, Koko Records, which was distributed by Stax. Although Tommy brushed the R&B charts a couple of times, his career stalled when label mate Luther Ingram scored big with “(If Loving You Is Wrong) I Don't Want To Be Right.” Koko issued four Tate singles, but Baylor valued him more as a songwriter for Ingram. When Koko closed its doors, it had an album in the can on Tommy that was released in Japan and the UK many years later.
 

In 1979, Tommy cut an album for Frederick Knight’s Juana label and Japan’s P-Vine Records released an album of his demos and unreleased tracks. Sundance issued a number of singles in the 1980s, but Tommy had more success as a songwriter for Malaco Records. Johnnie Taylor scored with his beautiful “Everything's Out in the Open,” and Bobby Blue Bland charted with the catchy midtempos “Midnight Run” and “Get Your Money Where You Spend Your Time.”

Tommy recorded two albums for Urgent! in the early 1990s. The second, “All or Nothing,” was released only in Japan. Ironically, “All or Nothing” contains 12 tracks of Tommy Tate at his very best. And Tommy Tate at his very best puts him in league with Bobby Blue Bland, Johnnie Taylor, and Luther Ingram, among others. That’s why LocoBop chose to release “All or Nothing” to the world in 2008.


 
 

ALL OR NOTHING
AIN'T NO WEST IN MIDWEST
WHERE HAS MY SWEET THING GONE?ONE LOVE
SOMEBODY HELP
WALKING AWAY
DON'T MAKE ME EXPLAIN
THIS ONE'S
I STILL WONDER
A CHANGE IS GONNA COME
CAUGHT UP

UNTIE ME

 

 

 

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