Thursday, July 9, 2009
Megan Tate named Entertainer of the Year
By SUE WATSON
Twenty-year-old Megan Tate of Potts Camp notched her Southern gospel music career ahead two weeks ago at the annual convention of the Music City Gospel Showcase held in Pigeon Forge, Tenn.
She was voted Entertainer of the Year for Gospel Singing by the artists attending the convention. About 50 artists attended, she said.
“It was a big national event - really all over the world,” she said.
Tate’s performances will be aired over the Internet on Angel 2 Channel for the Dish Network on July 6-14 at 7 p.m. central time. Gospel music television should also carry the event, she said.
Twenty-one shows were taped at the convention and will begin airing across the nation in early July.
Last week, Tate was the guest of Lois Swanee-Shipp and Lisa Cole on “The Holly Belles” TV show. She performed several of her latest recordings and was interviewed by Lois Swanee-Shipp. That segment airs on TV Channel 99 on MetroCast Thursdays at 6 p.m. and on Mondays at 6 p.m.
Tate has been singing at public events, homecomings, and church events since an early age. Blind from birth, Tate recently graduated from high school by taking courses for the blind online and she continues to work on a theology degree from Liberty University.
Tate has cut two CDs. The first is entitled “Taking It Back.” The second is “A Hill Called Mt. Calvary.”
She is also working on a CD that contains all original songs sent to her by songwriters. Out of about 400 songs she has received she has selected about 8 to record for a future CD and needs about three more, she said.
Tate is looking forward to developing a tour that will take her up into Tennessee, through Mississippi and elsewhere in the South after she finishes her original album. She recently signed with Don Frost, who will be working to develop a tour for her. Frost is the host and brainchild of the Music City Gospel Showcase and recently formed the Showcase Talent Agency in Hendersonville, Tenn.
Tate made dozens of appearances in Tennessee and Mississippi last year.
Upcoming events she will be singing for include the New Albany Fair on August 7, a benefit held at Oak Palace for a liver transplant patient on August 14, and at Blue Springs Baptist Church August 30.
To view Tate’s performance at Pigeon Forge, visit www.megantate.com. To inquire about purchase of a CD, write to Tate at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Some titles on her second album recognizable to Southern gospel music lovers include: “A Hill Called Mt. Calvary” by Gaither Local Band, “Go Tell” by The Martins, and “I Will Follow Christ” by Clay Cross.
With several studio recording sessions under her belt, Tate said she enjoys working in the studio as much as being on stage. And she’s studying piano on her own and, down the road, hopes to write her own music.
She has worked in the studio with Kevin Thomas several times.
Working with Kevin Thomas has been a joy, she said.
The recording sessions begin with prayer and when difficulty arises, they stop and pray for help and use prayer as a means of settling down when the going gets difficult.
Her grandfather, Larry Tate, is a big fan as well as her grandmother Linda. They travel together and Larry Tate is no spring chicken to studio work or the music business.
“Kevin knows my style and he and Grandpa work very well together,” Tate said. “Grandpa knows the music business from start to finish. He’s my extra set of ears in the studio. He’s part of the team; I couldn’t do it without him.”
Larry Tate is a proud grandfather and loves the saving messages in Southern gospel music.
“As a young man, I was a musician and was involved in music, but not for the Lord,” he said. “I gained a lot of knowledge and a good ear for music. I had no idea God was going to work around and create the atmosphere with Megan. He continues to grace our lives to be able to sing for the Lord.”
Larry Tate believes Kevin Thomas feels the same way about the Lord and gospel music.
“He knows she’s special and where we will be going, and these things are a joy to me,” Larry Tate said.
As for Megan, he said his granddaughter is very knowledgeable in music and knows what sounds good.
“She’s also taking keyboard and progressing well,” he said. “She hears music very well.
“And Kevin, he’s just a dear friend through the music, his church and his family’s music. It’s a joy for the three of us to get together to do these things.”
Larry Tate said some studios are not interested personally in the careers of artists who record with them.
“Some of them just want your money,” he said. “ We’re all kind of growing together. If God’s in it, Holly Springs will be just fine.
“We’re very proud of Megan. She’s very selective in what songs and the type of music she records and that is an asset to her.
“She doesn’t complain about her handicap (blindness) because she knows it is because of it that she gets to do these things. She just touches hearts wherever she goes. It’s a God thing, I suppose.”
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