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Blue Grass Boy Tater Tate dies

Friday, October 19, 2007 – Clarence "Tater" Tate, who had two different stints playing for Bill Monroe, died Thursday at 77.

Tate first joined the Blue Grass Boys as a fiddler in the late 1950s, replacing Bobby Hicks when he was drafted. Tate stayed with Monroe for about six months.

About 30 years later, Tate returned to the band as a bassist. When Kenny Baker left Monroe in 1984, Tate temporarily took over the fiddling chores. For the rest of Monroe's life (he died in 1996), Tate switched between bass and fiddle as needed.

Tate played fiddle with performers including Hylo Brown, the Bailey Brothers, and Carl Story in the 1950s. He joined Red Smiley's Bluegrass Cutups in 1965, which became the Shenandoah Cutups after Smiley's retirement in 1969. In 1977, he left the Cutups to join Lester Flatt's Nashville Grass. He also played with the Cumberland Highlanders.

More news for Bill Monroe

CD reviews for Bill Monroe

True Life Blues
This tribute to the father of bluegrass music was already in the finalproduction stage when Bill Monroe passed away in early September, so it becomes the first of what are sure to be many all-star celebrations of Big Mon's legacy. Produced by bassist Todd Phillips, the album follows a current trend by creating one-time combinations of some of the top names in bluegrass. The material concentrates on Monroe's early songwriting, with such familiar tunes as Molly and Tenbrooks, »»»
Live From The Mountain Stage
Continuing their distinguished series of live recordings from the nationally syndicated radio show, "Mountain Stage," this release marks more than one milestone for Blue Plate Music. Recorded by Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys for broadcast in May 1989, it's the 20th in the "Best of Mountain Stage" series and also marks the first release of an album in the series by a single artist. Monroe and the boys, along with singer/songwriter Diana Christian, tear through 13 of his »»»
Big Mon: The Songs of Bill Monroe
Ricky Skaggs has wrapped the cloak of Bill Monroe's legacy tightly around him over the past few years. However, one might feel about that, this star-laden country music tribute to Bill Monroe is more than just a curiosity item - it's an interesting collection of how various artists incorporate and honor tradition. Some fit snugly into Monroe's timeless sound as if they'd been Bluegrass Boys (or Girls) themselves. Patty Loveless shows a classic bluegrass sensibility on »»»
Editorial: Walking the talk – When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: The Lil Smokies provide the perfect antidote – On a night when the world to be falling further apart thanks to coronavirus (this would be the night the NBA postponed the season), there stood The Lil Smokies to at least in some small measure save the day. The quintet is part of a generation of musicians with bluegrass as the basis, but not totally the sum of the music either.... »»»
Concert Review: White makes the case for himself, no matter how dark the music – John Paul White opined with a glint in his eyes that his songs were not of the uplifting variety. In fact, they were downright dark. How else to explain "The Long Way" with the line "long way home back to you." Or "James," a song inspired by his grandfather who suffered from dementia. But lest you think that the Alabama... »»»
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