A big voiced singer despite being small in stature whose successful run with Joe Morris’s band at the start of the 1950’s helped propel him to the upper echelon in rock.

Tate was born in Virginia and reputedly brought into the Atlantic Records fold by Herb Abramson where she hooked up with Joe Morris who had just rejoined the label after a brief stint on Decca Records and was looking to expand his outfit following the defection of some of his key musicians. Realizing the broader commercial potential for acts with singers, particularly in the wake of Johnny Otis’s breakthrough with Little Esther, the two began working together in June 1950 and their initial release together became the label’s first #1 hit ever.

All of their subsequent records sold well, many of which she co-wrote, and they scored a second hit the following year, but Tate abruptly quit music altogether to start a family in late 1952 and never recorded again.

However her brief her career may have been she was vital in not just reviving Joe Morris’s fortunes and setting him firmly on the path to his greatest success, but in providing Atlantic Records with more evidence that rock ‘n’ roll was indeed the most promising style to pursue. Furthermore her declarative emotive style, despite a somewhat shrill tone, showed the industry that female vocalists in rock could assert themselves more and be successful which in many ways proved to be transformative for the genre itself.

LAURIE TATE DISCOGRAPHY (Records Reviewed To Date on Spontaneous Lunacy):

(Atlantic 914; August, 1950)
An impressive debut, both in coming up with solid lyrics and especially in the full-throated in-your-face performance which gives this the requisite power and emotional impact to offset an arrangement with one foot in the past. (7)

(Atlantic 914; August, 1950)
Another powerful vocal by Tate with even more shadings given to her emotional state of mind all of which is helped by a tight and efficient arrangement from Joe Morris which manages to keep all of the song’s components properly balanced to highlight their new singing star. (7)

(Atlantic 923; January, 1951)
Forced to stay within herself for the most part thanks to Joe Morris’s subdued arrangement featuring horns and guitar in equal measure, the effort pays off as this was a huge hit confirming Tate’s position as a rising star. (7)

(Atlantic 942; June, 1951)
Though Tate impresses at times with her ability to project the mixture of hurt and disdain for her no-good man, her tendency to over-sing accentuates her shrill tone and with an equally up and down backing track – great guitar, old fashioned horns – this is not quite all it could be. (5)

(Atlantic 942; June, 1951)
Another self-penned song with potential that Tate draws a lot out of before her tendency to over-emote curtails the momentum, though the badly out-dated horn charts don’t help matters much either, yet the melody and story she came up with are just good enough to suffice. (5)