BUFFALO, N.Y. (CelebrityAccess) Irwin Pate, 87, founder of Buffalo, N.Y., promotion company Pate & Associates, died in Buffalo General Medical Center after a brief illness May 8.
Pate, along with his Clarine Monique, built a strong promotional footprint in the New York area in the 1970s, primarily working with James Brown, as noted in a Buffalo News obituary.
Irwin used to own a record store in Louisville then, one night, bused a group of African-American kids to see Brown. That led to the Godfather of Soul asking Pate to become part of his business, which he did, serving as Brown’s booking and promotions manager for 14 years, helping to build Brown’s reputation by lobbying record companies to play his songs, according to the News.
Dates booked included a show at Madison Square Garden that had record-setting attendance and a concert at Yankee Stadium that drew 50,000.
Pate & Associates brought events to Buffalo’s Memorial Auditorium like Marvin Gaye, The Jackson 5, and Neil Diamond, according to the paper. He and Clarine Monique were once honored by the FBI for handling sensitive security details after bringing the Moscow Circus to the auditorium in 1988.
Pate once gave an example of Brown’s popularity, when he promoted a Thanksgiving show at the auditorium in late 60s:
“They came in through the ticket windows,” he told author James Sullivan in the book “The Hardest Working Man: How James Brown Saved the Soul of America.” “The firemen had no control.”
The duo established Prime Seats ticketing in the 1990s, primarily to handle tickets for events at the auditorium, the News said.
Pate & Associates went on to promote concerts throughout the country including shows by Reba, Martina McBride, Andrea Bocelli and Nine Inch Nails.