David Gates (born December 11, 1940, in Tulsa, Oklahoma) is an American singer-songwriter, best known as the lead singer of the group Bread, which during the 1970s peaked the music charts with numerous well known songs. The band is now in the Vocal Group Hall of Fame.
Gates is the son of a band director and a piano teacher, and as such was surrounded by music from a young age. He was proficient in piano, bass and guitar by the time he enrolled in Tulsa, Oklahoma's Will Rogers High School. As a teenager, Gates joined local bands around Tulsa. In 1957, his high school band backed Chuck Berry during a concert. Later, Gates released his first local hit single, "Jo-Baby." The song was written for Gates’ sweetheart Jo Rita, whom he later married in 1958 while still studying at the University of Oklahoma.
Gates and his family moved to Los Angeles in 1961 where Gates became a songwriter and became involved in producing. He worked as a music copyist, studio musician, and producer for many artists including Pat Boone. Success soon followed, with his composition "Popsicles and Icicles" hitting #3 on the US Hot 100 for The Murmaids in 1963. Another song, "Saturday's Child", was recorded by The Monkees. By the end of the 1960s, he had worked with many leading artists, including Elvis Presley, Bobby Darin, Merle Haggard, Phil Spector and Brian Wilson. Gates also produced the 1965 Glenn Yarbrough hit, "Baby, the Rain Must Fall." In 1966 he also produced two singles on A&M Records for Captain Beefheart and The Magic Band which were hits in the Los Angeles area.