Tommy Tate, like so many other underrated singers, has achieved a cult-like status as the “best singer you have never heard.” Deep Soul and Southern Soul lovers as well as Northern Soul fans consider his one of the true great voices in soul music (myself included.)
A native of Mississippi, which earns him a few extra points with me anyway, he was recording for Okeh, Verve, Atco among other labels. In 1970 he signed with STAX where he sang lead for The Nightingales.
In the following years, he made it to R&B charts, but the great breakthrough success kept eluding him. While he was with the Koko label he was considered more “useful” as a song writer than singer. and he ended up writing songs for Luther Ingram, for example.
As a song writer he was rather successful, however, writing for Luther Ingram, Johnny Taylor, and Bobby Blue Bland.
Today’s choice is from the Complete KoKo Recordings (Kent Records UK, 2007.)