Ebet Roberts, Redferns Veteran soul crooner Howard Tate died late last week…
- Posted on Dec 5th 2011 6:00PM by Theo Spielberg
Gilles Petard, Redferns
Tate enjoyed a briefly successful career in the late 1960s and early 1970s, recording hits like 'Get It While You Can,' before sliding into obscurity, where he toiled for decades. He first achieved success in 1966 with the single 'Ain't Nobody Home,' and as he told NPR, success took him by surprise.
"I came home from work one day," he said, "and a big limousine was sitting in front of the door. And they said, 'You gotta get in here right away. You gotta get a suit. You're playing with Marvin Gaye tomorrow night.'"
After a string of critically acclaimed yet publicly ignored records -- as well as extortionate record deals -- Tate retired from the music industry, joining the ranks of cult favorites virtually unknown in the popular sphere. After the death of his 13-year-old daughter in a house fire and the dissolution of his marriage, Tate sought solace in drugs and fell into a downward spiral of addiction and vagrancy.
In 1994, Tate checked himself into a rehab clinic and soon became a preacher. He returned to recording music, collaborating with his long lost producer, the famous Jerry Ragovoy, in the early 2000s and enjoyed a briefly resuscitated music career. Tate continued to perform and record sporadically until his death.