Ernest “Ernie” Everett Cate was born on December 26, 1942, in Marshall, Searcy County, Ark ansas, and grew up in Sonora , Arkansas. Ernie and his identical twin brother, Earl, formed the Cate Brothers , a S outhern soul band in which Ernie played keyboard , sang, and wrote original so ngs. The band contributed to the rock sound t hat 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 Brother s toured nationally and internationally with groups including Fleetwood Mac, Queen, Lynyrd Skyny r d, and The Band .

The Cate Brothers worked on a range of musical projects in the 1980s, prior to r esuming recording in the 1990s. The band released nine albums over the course of a career spanning five decades . I n 2006 Ernie Cate stepped a way from frequent perfo rming an d touring , although he occasionall y rejoins his brother on stage and maintains strong roots in Arkansas.

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