Topping the Charts: Singer Enjoys Second Chance at Success
EL PASO, Texas, March 3, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Laura Tate is not today’s typical hit vocalist, but she has never been one to follow convention. With her latest album, “Live From El Paso,” at number 1 on Roots Music Report’s Jazzy Blues List for 24 weeks and a Global Music Awards Bronze Medal winner, Tate is already working on her next project.
It will be her sixth CD in eight years, not bad for a musician who dropped out of singing in public for more than 20 years.
On track for a singing career
The daughter of an opera singer father and a Southern beauty, Laura Tate started singing as a child. She was on track for a singing career, attending the acclaimed music department at University of North Texas – until she quit in her last semester to tour with a national repertory theater company. She moved to Nashville, New York, and Los Angeles to sing and act on stage and on television. However, her true passion was touring with The Laura Tate Band, performing original music across the country. She was a rising star in a crowded field.
Then the music stopped. After five years of verbal and physical abuse from a husband who undermined her self-esteem at every turn, she lost her confidence to sing. She divorced him and found herself alone in El Paso, Texas, far from her L.A. and Nashville connections and any prospects to return to singing.
To help herself heal, she became a community advocate against domestic violence and went back to college with students half her age to finish her bachelor’s degree and then earned a Master’s in Theater Arts. The once tough and sultry torch singer joined El Paso’s Junior League to fight domestic abuse – and was quickly elected president. The University of Texas-El Paso tapped her to co-chair its 100-member Centennial Committee and she became active in the Alzheimer’s Association.
In Hollywood, she had assisted on music videos with stars like Phil Collins and Gloria Estefan. Using those skills in El Paso, she directed and produced television commercials and music videos for the Bellamy Brothers and other artists. She also produced a PBS award-winning documentary on West Point’s first black graduate entitled “Held in Trust,” narrated by General Colin Powell.
Married once again, this time to an El Paso attorney who supported her volunteer work and creative pursuits, Laura Tate found her voice again. The joy of singing came back, first at small gatherings and then in large concert halls.
A CD a year and a re-invented life
In 2013, Laura Tate headed to Nashville to cut an album of American Standards from the 1930s, ’40s, and ’50s, entitled “Songs from My Suitcase.” She recorded her second album in Los Angeles in 2014: “Blue Train,” a lively rock/country/jazz crossover. In 2016, the theme was romance in her “I Must Be Dreaming” album which featured adult contemporary music by the gifted songwriter Mel Harker. Her 2017 album, “Let’s Just Be Real,” a jazzy blues collection with soul, caught on quickly and captured international acclaim.
Then cancer surgery and treatment sidelined Tate. However, in 2020, she was back with her first live concert album. She recorded the award-winning “Live from El Paso” with her band of top Los Angeles-area musicians in a West Texas canyon. The benefit concert raised funds for the El Paso Community Foundation’s Laura Tate Fund for the Arts, which provides arts education for underserved students. The album moves smoothly from jazz and blues to rock, but each selection features Laura’s own interpretation.
Tate continues to mix concerts and recording with community service. Her long-time membership in SAG-AFTRA and Actors Equity Association shows one side of Laura Tate; receiving the President’s Volunteer Services Award from President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama shows the other side.
Few people put in the work to earn a second chance at their dream, but Laura Tate spent a lifetime to become what looks on the outside like “an overnight success.” With each album gaining more airplay and more sales, she is back on track to be who she always wanted to be.
For music videos, reviews, and music downloads, visit www.musicbylauratate.com
Cindy Graff Cohen
SOURCE Laura Tate