Sonny Tate (1936-2003) was born in Opalika, Alabama and displayed musical talent at an early age. He could mimic Hank Williams and would stand on his father’s bar and entertain the patrons who were delighted with the youngster’s uncanny ability. Sonny would later go on to have something of a professional career as a country singer but never making it really big.
He performed on the Lousiana Hayride and was even invited to perform at the Opry once when he had a Top-20 song, but they never invited him to join the Opry as a member.
After Sonny’s wife passed away, he was left to raise his son Tully alone. This he did despite still trying to carry on with his career as a singer. Tully would travel with him and stand backstage as Sonny performed and was adopted by all the musicians and other performers something like a mascot. Sonny outlived Tully who predeceased him in 1993.
Sonny is remembered as someone who could sing and sell a song but not hold his liquor. He is also remembered as a loving grandfather to Tully’s son, Mike, who lived with Sonny until 2003 when Sonny passed away and Mike moved to Nashville.
Mike inherited Sonny’ guitar and had some dreams of following in Sonny’s footsteps as a country singer.