Song of the Day: Grady Tate – “Sack Full of Dreams”

Grady Tate, a hard-swinging drummer who would launch a second career as a vocalist later in life, was born on this day (January 14) in Durham, North Carolina, in 1932. Tate’s drumming was a guiding force in the development of soul-jazz, and his sideman credits include stints with leaders of the genre like Jimmy Smith and Wes Montgomery. As a vocalist, he became famous outside the jazz world for his contributions to the educational TV show Schoolhouse Rock.

“Sack Full of Dreams” comes from Tate’s leader debut Windmills of Your Mind, from 1968. Originally composed by vibraphone legend Gary McFarland, the song’s lyrics contrast a reality in which “Gray empty faces walk by/And hands try to hide all the loneliness” to a dream world with “Streets full of laughter and toy balloons/and people with hearts that care.” Even after 50 years, it’s a message that still bears repeating.

Join Our Email Newsletter

Join thousands of other jazz enthusiasts and get new music, artists, albums, events and more delivered to your inbox.

The Authoritative Voice in Jazz



Miles Davis Special Issue

By submitting, you give JAZZIZ Magazine permission to keep you updated via email or customized online advertising. You can opt out at any time. Check our privacy policy for more details.

Enter your email below for a free MEETING MILES: FACE TO FACE WITH THE PRINCE OF DARKNESS Special Issue!