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Howard Tate

December 8, 2011

I follow a lot of soul music websites and most of them wrote nice things about the recent passing of soul man Howard Tate. I wasn’t going to bother writing anything about him myself, esp. since I just mentioned him earlier this year.

But then I read an article by Dan DeLuca in the Philly paper yesterday that I found so interesting I have to share.

Some facts I didn’t know about Mr. Tate:

  • He was raised in Philly
  • He was in a band called The Gainors with Garnet Mimms, who is also from Philly and sung the fabulous Cry Baby
  • Tate worked with Jerry Ragovoy on his first LP (and Ragovoy penned the above Cry Baby)
  • Most people thought Tate was long dead, when in fact he was almost dead from coke addiction, hanging out in Camden NJ slums
  • He was rediscovered in a South Jersey supermarket by a member of Harold Melvin & The Bluenotes, who happened to recognize him.
  • He had a comeback in the last few years, released albums, toured, and even had a song written for him by Elvis Costello.

Read the article here.

and here’s a good one from Funky16Corners.

His beautiful falsetto voice will be missed.

My fave Tate track from 1964, c/o SoulTreats:

MP3: Howard Tate- Half A Man

Update: Listen to a great interview from 2003 with Tate and Ragovoy on NPR’s Fresh Air.

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