Blue Grass Boy Tater Tate dies
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Blue Grass Boy Tater Tate dies

Friday, October 19, 2007 – Clarence "Tater" Tate, who had two different stints playing for Bill Monroe, died Thursday at 77.

Tate first joined the Blue Grass Boys as a fiddler in the late 1950s, replacing Bobby Hicks when he was drafted. Tate stayed with Monroe for about six months.

About 30 years later, Tate returned to the band as a bassist. When Kenny Baker left Monroe in 1984, Tate temporarily took over the fiddling chores. For the rest of Monroe's life (he died in 1996), Tate switched between bass and fiddle as needed.

Tate played fiddle with performers including Hylo Brown, the Bailey Brothers, and Carl Story in the 1950s. He joined Red Smiley's Bluegrass Cutups in 1965, which became the Shenandoah Cutups after Smiley's retirement in 1969. In 1977, he left the Cutups to join Lester Flatt's Nashville Grass. He also played with the Cumberland Highlanders.

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