was born on October 1, 1932, in Leona, Texas, but moved to Houston in 1941. A distant cousin of the legendary Lightnin’ Hopkins, Collins was influenced by the blues sounds of the Mississippi, Chicago, and especially Texas. In his early teens Collins gained inspiration listening to keyboardist Jimmy McGriff and began playing piano and organ… Switching to guitar at 18, he entered the blues scene with a unique sound and approach. Influenced by great blues artists such as T-Bone Walker, Gatemouth Brown and John Lee Hooker, Collins formed his own band in 1952 and packed the clubs around Houston.
In the early 1960s, Collins hit the airwaves big time with Frosty. This song was also known for having a young Johnny Winter and Janis Joplin in attendance in the studio while the song was being recorded. Other single releases like Sno Cone and Thaw Out were heavily played on R&B radio stations. In no time Collins was sharing stages with many of his idols.
In the mid 60’s Collins broke into the rock ‘n’ roll scene with three albums produced by members of Canned Heat, and shortly after played the San Francisco psychedelic circuit. Collins really got the recognition he deserved after he signed with Alligator Records and released Ice Pickin in 1978. It won the Best Blues Album of the Year Award from the Montreux Jazz Festival and was nominated for a Grammy.