11 December 1940 (age 78)
Tulsa, Tulsa County, Oklahoma, United States
David Gates was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma to a band director and a piano teacher on December 11, 1940. Surrounded by music from birth, he was proficient in piano, bass and guitar by the time he was in high school. In 1957, he received a musical break when Chuck Berry came to Tulsa; Gates had his first hit, Jo-Baby, with Chuck Berry. The song was written for Gates' high school sweetheart Jo Rita, whom he married and had children with while enrolled at the university of Oklahoma. In 1961, the family moved to Los Angeles, and Gates embarked on a career of songwriting and producing. By the end of the '60s, he had worked with Elvis Presley, Bobby Darin and Merle Haggard, and produced the 1965 Glenn Yarbrough hit Baby the Rain Must Fall. Realizing that the only way his songs were sure to be recorded was to sing them himself, Gates founded Bread in 1968; the group consisted of Gates, James Griffin, Robb Royer, and later, drummer Michael Botts and keyboardist Larry Krechtel. The group's first album, Bread, was released in 1969 with hits It Don't Matter to Me, Dismal Day and Make It with You. Soft rock hits became the band's trademark and made them legends. Greater success and recognition came with the 1971 album, Manna, with the smash hit If. With the popular albums Guitar Man and Baby, I'm a Want You, the band's success led the members in different directions. The group disbanded in 1973 to pursue their own solo interests and careers, but regrouped in 1977 to produce the album Lost Without Your Love. David Gates produced albums of his own, First Album and Never Let Her Go in 1975; his songs landed him on the contemporary music charts every time, including The Goodbye Girl, from Neil Simon's play of the same name. Several of his songs have been recorded by artists such as Julio Iglesias and Boy George. Everything I Own, a tribute to his father as his greatest influence, was recorded by Nashville artists The Kendalls and Joe Stempley and then by pop rocker Boy George. His incredible songwriting ability offers versatility and a crossing over of musical genres. With a recording studio on his California ranch, David Gates continues to write and produce
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