|Birth name||Charles Henry Tate|
January 28, 1916|
Elberton, Georgia, United States
|Died||August 17, 1972
Columbia, South Carolina, United States
|Genres||Piedmont blues, country blues|
|Labels||Kapp, Prestige, Trix|
Baby Tate (January 28, 1916 – August 17, 1972) was an American Piedmont blues guitarist, who in a sporadic career spanning five decades, worked variously with guitarists Blind Boy Fuller and Pink Anderson, as well as harmonica player Peg Leg Sam. His playing style was influenced by Blind Blake, Buddy Moss, Blind Boy Fuller, Josh White, and Willie Walker, and to some extent Lightnin' Hopkins.
Born Charles Henry Tate in Elberton, Georgia, he was raised in Greenville, South Carolina. In his adolescence, Tate started performing locally, after seeing Blind Blake in Elberton. Tate later formed a trio with Joe Walker (the brother of Willie Walker) and Roosevelt "Baby" Brooks and, up to 1932, played in the local area. As The Carolina Blackbirds, they appeared on the radio station, WFBC, broadcasting from The Jack Tar Hotel, but for the rest of the 1930s worked for a living, mainly as a mason.
Baby Tate served in the United States Army infantry during World War II in the south of England, and did not return to the Spartanburg/Greenville club circuit until 1946. Nevertheless, in 1950 Tate claimed to have recorded several (unreleased) tracks for the Kapp label. Relocating to Spartanburg, South Carolina, he performed solo before forming an occasional duo with Pink Anderson; a working relationship that endured through to the 1970s when Anderson suffered from stroke.
Tate released his only album, Blues of Baby Tate: See What You Done Done, in 1962, and twelve months later appeared in Sam Charters' documentary film The Blues. Throughout the 1960s Tate performed irregularly across the US. Utilising harmonica player, Peg Leg Sam, or guitarists Baby Brooks or McKinley Ellis, Tate recorded nearly sixty tracks in 1970 and 1971 for Peter B. Lowry, but the proposed album remained unreleased once Tate unexpectedly died in the summer of 1972. He appeared at a concert at the State University of New York at New Paltz, New York as a result of Lowry's efforts in the Spring of 1972.
- Blues of Baby Tate: See What You Done Done (1962) - Prestige/Bluesville, CD reissue Origin Blues Classics (OBC) (1995)
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