Sonny Tate (1936-2003) was born in Opelika, 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.
The events of this song took place in 1999 when Sonny Tate was 63 and living in Columbus, Georgia. A serious thunderstorm had hit the town leaving most of Columbus without power. That night, a local bar decided to go ahead and open up despite not having power: They put a case of beer on ice and set candles on each table, and Sonny entertained the regulars with his guitar until power was restored.
THAT NIGHT IN COLUMBUS (F.D. Leone, Jr.) Sonny had his guitar and was singing the blues It really hit the spot for us The power had gone out from a storm that passed through That night in Columbus They opened up that bar and let us in Some beer was iced down in a wash tub It sure felt good getting out and seeing friends That night in Columbus A lot of rain, oh boy, the wind sure did blow But we were all right in that dark club Listening as Sonny sang in the candle glow That night in Columbus It could have been worse, least nobody died As it was the storm just hurt some stuff We passed the time safe and dry inside That night in Columbus Bad weather comes and then it goes Go ahead shake your fist and cuss Made you feel a little better I suppose That night in Columbus Sonny’s packing up, his guitar’s in the case The lights are on, but we ain’t in a rush The storm turned that old bar into a sacred space That night in Columbus © 2020 Frank David Leone, Jr./Highway 80 Music (ASCAP). The songs and stories on the Highway 80 Stories website are works of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.