Ernest “Ernie” Everett Cate was born on December 26, 1942, in Marshall, Searcy County, Arkansas, and grew up in Sonora, Arkansas. Ernie and his identical twin brother, Earl, formed the Cate Brothers, a Southern soul band in which Ernie played keyboard, sang, and wrote original songs. The band contributed to the rock sound that emerged from the Ozarks and was heavily influenced by the blues.

After Cate attended the University of Arkansas for a time, he and his brother, Earl, released two albums as The Cates Gang in the early 1970s. They signed a record deal with Asylum Records and released a self-titled album in 1975. The Cate Bros. album produced the single, “Union Man,” which broke the national Top 40 Charts in 1976. The Cate Brothers toured nationally and internationally with groups including Fleetwood Mac, Queen, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and The Band.

The Cate Brothers worked on a range of musical projects in the 1980s, prior to resuming recording in the 1990s. The band released nine albums over the course of a career spanning five decades. In 2006 Ernie Cate stepped away from frequent performing and touring, although he occasionally rejoins his brother on stage and maintains strong roots in Arkansas.

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