Howard Tate — “Stop”: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — November 28, 2022


652) Howard Tate — “Stop

Soul great Howard Tate’s (see #259, 261) ‘68 not-quite hit (#76, #15 R&B) is a delightful romp. With the Jimi Hendrix seal of approval!

Richie Unterberger tells us that:

Howard Tate had some minor success with the Verve label in the late ’60s. The singer brought a lot of blues and gospel to his phrasing [and Jerry Ragovoy brought] the Northeast soul production [and] also wrote much of Tate’s material. Howard made the R&B Top 20 three times in the late ’60s (with “Ain’t Nobody Home,” “Stop,” and “Look at Granny Run Run”). However, he’s most famous to rock audiences as the original performer of “Get It While You Can,” which became one of Janis Joplin’s signature tunes. . . . Tate sang with the Gainers, a North Philadelphia doo wop group that also included future soul star Garnet Mimms. . . . Ragovoy was urged to check out Tate by [one] of . . . Mimms’ backup singers. He recorded about ten singles with Tate between 1966 and 1969 . . . . Although an enduring figure in the soul genre, Tate’s music has received its greatest exposure via cover versions: Jimi Hendrix and Hugh Masekela did “Stop[]” . . . .

Joel Rose says that “Ragovoy told me . . . . ‘The potential of [Tate’s] range was extraordinary. . . . I thought that Howard was maybe the only artist that I heard who could execute what I had in my mind as a writer.'” (

Rose also talks of the tragedy and triumph of Tate’s later years:

Tate walked away from the music business in the 1970s and got a job selling insurance. Tragedy struck his family . . . when his 13-year-old daughter died in a house fire. Tate’s marriage fell apart, and he turned to cocaine . . . . For about a decade, Tate lived on the streets of Camden, New Jersey . . . . [I]n 1994, Tate checked himself into a rehab clinic . . . . was born again. . . . [and] started working as a preacher. After 2003, Tate enjoyed a second career, recording a handful of albums and playing to appreciative crowds around the world . . . .

Here, Tate sings “Stop” live in 2008:

Here is Jimi:

Buddy Miles, the drummer for Hendrix’s Band of Gypsys, talks about “Stop”:

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