Howard Tate was born in Georgia, and made the move north to Philadelphia with his family when he was young. He began singing gospel as a teenager, encouraged by his minister father. He joined a gospel group called the Gainors, and in 1955 they made the move to secular music, getting signed to Mercury Records as a doo-wop group, though they didn't see much success on the charts. Tate next found work as a singer for R&B organist Bill Doggett, whom he remained with from 1960 to 1963.
His break came when he was discovered by producer/songwriter Jerry Ragavoy, who encouraged him to move to New York and got him signed to Verve Records. He scored two Top 20 R&B hits in 1966 with Ragavoy's own "Ain't Nobody Home" and "Look At Granny Run, Run" - both made it to #12. An LP called Get It While You Can featuring these songs came out in 1967, showcasing Tate and Ragavoy's distinctive form of sophisticated R&B, with fantastic arrangements and soulful vocals (he was a brilliant singer on par with the likes of Otis Redding and Wilson Pickett). The title track was another single, and though it didn't actually chart, it is today acknowledged as a true soul classic.
The version of the album here features a number of bonus tracks, including "Stop", another Top 20 hit written by Ragavoy (it got to #15 in 1968).
|> Howard Tate's Reaction (1970)
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