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
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
for Frederick Knight’s
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.