Concert Promoter Irwin Pate Dies

Irwin Pate
Courtesy of The Buffalo News/ family of Irwin Pate
– Irwin Pate
Longtime concert promoter Irwin Pate, who worked as James Brown’s booking agent for 14 years, died May 8 in Buffalo, N.Y., at age 87.   
After serving in the Navy and earning his bachelor’s degree, Pate got into the music business as the owner of record store and a wholesale record distribution company in Louisville, Ky., according to the Buffalo News
The paper detailed how Pate first connected with Brown when the record store owner brought a bus of African American kids, who had won a contest, to one of his concerts. The artist was reportedly surprised to see a white man with so many black children and ended up inviting the winners backstage. After chatting with Pate, the Godfather of Soul suggested that Pate should give up his record store to come work with him.   
In addition to booking shows for Brown for nearly a decade a half, Pate was his promotions manager, lobbying radio stations to play his tunes. 
After Brown transferred offices from New York City to Macon, Ga., in the early ’70s, Pate and his wife relocated to Buffalo and formed Pate and Associates, which promoted events in the city’s Memorial Auditorium and other venues, according to the Buffalo News
Pate continued promoting shows up until his death, according to the paper, which pointed out he presented shows over the years by a range of artists including Marvin Gaye, Reba McEntire, Andrea Bocelli and Nine Inch Nails. 
He and his wife also worked in ticketing in the ’90s with a company called Prime Seats, which operated the box office at the Memorial Auditorium until the venue closed in 1996. 
Pate died after a brief illness and his survived by his wife, a niece and nephew.