Howard Tate: Soul singer who was given a second chance at a musical career
Friday 09 December 2011
Howard Tate, who died on 2 December aged 72, was a soul singer who was given a second chance at a musical career three decades after being derailed by disputes with industry executives, personal tragedy and drug addiction.
Tate was born in Macon, Georgia, and grew up in Philadelphia, where as a teenager he sang with the doo-wop group The Gainors. He was a rising star who later suffered through decades of such extreme darkness that his long-time producer believed he was dead.
In the late 1960s and early '70s, Tate had three top 20 R&B hits, including "Get It While You Can", written by his long-standing producer Jerry Ragovoy and made more famous by Janis Joplin. Tate toured the chitlin circuit with Aretha Franklin as her version of "Respect" climbed the charts in 1967, but within a decade, he had walked away from his career, disillusioned that he wasn't getting the royalties he thought he deserved. He took up a new career selling insurance in Philadelphia. "I got rid of my own records, and I didn't listen to other people's records because I didn't want to flash back," he said in 2003.
Then his daughter died in a fire and his marriage fell apart. He drank heavily, became addicted to crack and other drugs and ended up homeless. By the mid-1990s, he had cleaned up and became a minister, eventually leading a congregation in Willingboro. Around that time, his 1967 album "Get It While You Can", considered a classic by soul aficionados, was reissued on CD.
On the liner notes, Ragovoy wrote that the singer was probably dead, but in 2001, a chance meeting at a grocery store between Tate and a former member of Harold Melvin's Blue Notes tipped off the music world that he was alive. In 2003, he returned to the studio and made Rediscovered, which was nominated for a Grammy. Over the next five years, he toured and released a live record and three more studio CDs.
Howard Tate, singer: born 13 August 1939; died 2 December 2011.
- 1 Malaysia issues arrest warrant for Gordon Brown’s sister-in-law after she publishes stories on leader Najib Razak's financial affairs
- 2 Porn block in India: hundreds of sexual websites banned, internet outraged
- 3 Natalia Molchanova: World's most successful free-diver missing and feared dead after disappearing in Mediterranean
- 4 Dutch King Willem-Alexander declares the end of the welfare state
- 5 Gamers confess the worst things they've done in The Sims
Jackie Chan in second place in Forbes' Highest Paid Actors list after magazine includes actors working outside US movie industry
Malaysia issues arrest warrant for Gordon Brown’s sister-in-law after she publishes stories on leader Najib Razak's financial affairs
Natalia Molchanova: World's most successful free-diver missing and feared dead after disappearing in Mediterranean
Dutch King Willem-Alexander declares the end of the welfare state
Pizza Express protests: these restaurants charge staff for tips paid by card
Is Britain really full up? Are migrants taking our jobs? Leading academic answers the most common anti-immigration claims
Calais Migrant Crisis: Deputy Mayor of Calais labels Cameron's use of 'swarm' as 'racist' and 'ignorant'
Chris Leslie: Jeremy Corbyn's anti-austerity agenda will harm the poor, says Labour shadow Chancellor
Landlords renting properties to illegal immigrants to face up to five years in prison
Jeremy Corbyn: Tony Blair could face war crimes trial over 'illegal Iraq invasion'
While we fixate on Calais, the Home Office is quietly deporting dozens of migrants on 'ghost flights'
£45000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This software company specialis...
£22000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The successful applicant will s...
£14807 - £15470 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This manufacturer and supplier ...
£45000 - £65000 per annum + Benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: Security Consu...