The Cate Brothers are the singer-songwriter-musician duo of Earl and Ernie Cate, twin brothers from Fayetteville, Arkansas, who in the mid-1960s became performers of southern soul music at clubs and dances throughout the regional South of the United States. Both brothers are singers, with Earl on guitar and Ernie on piano. They became prolific recording artists during the mid to late 1970s, and again since the mid-1990s.
In their 1950s Fayetteville hometown, where rock pioneer Ronnie Hawkins had also grown up during the 1940s, Hawkins owned and operated the Rockwood Club. There, some of Rock music's earliest pioneers came to play, including Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison and Conway Twitty.
During the late 1950s the Cates associated with Hawkins and his original band members in Arkansas, known as the Hawks, including Hawks drummer Levon Helm. After 1958 Helm and Hawkins left, and settled in Canada, where they went on to form the core of the group The Band.
In 1975 Levon Helm introduced the Cates to a record company representative in Los Angeles. The Cates soon after received a recording contract with Asylum Records, and so began their recording career.