- Albert Collins
Infobox Musical artist
Name = Albert Collins
Img_capt = Albert Collins playing live in 1990
Img_size = 250
Landscape = Yes
Background = solo_singer
Born = birth date|1932|10|01
Died = Dda|1993|11|24|1932|10|01
Years_active = 1952 - 1993
Label = Alligator
Albert Collins (
October 1 1932— November 24 1993) was a blues guitarist, singerand musician. He had many nicknames, such as "The Ice Man", "The Master of the Telecaster" and "The Razor Blade". [http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=11:difwxqt5ldke~T1 All Music Guide biography] ]
Born in Leona,
Texas, Collins was a distant relative of Lightnin' Hopkinsand grew up learning about music and playing guitar. His family moved to Houston, Texaswhen he was seven. Throughout the 1940s and 1950s, he absorbed the blues sounds and styles from Texas, Mississippiand Chicago. His style would soon envelop these sounds.
He formed his first band in 1952 and two years later was the headliner at several blues clubs in Houston. By the late 1950s Collins began using
Fender Telecasters. He later chose a "maple-cap" 1966 Custom Fender Telecasterwith a Gibson PAF humbuckerin the neck position and a 100 watt RMS silverfaced 1970s Fender Quad Reverb combo as his main equipment, and developed a unique sound featuring minor tunings, sustained notes and an "attack" fingerstyle. He also frequently used a capoon his guitar, particularly on the 5th, 7th, and 9th frets. He primarily favored an "open F-minor" tuning (low to high: F-C-F-Ab-C-F).
Collins began recording in 1960 and released singles, including many
instrumentals such as the million selling "Frosty". In the spring of 1965 he moved to Kansas City, Missouriand made a name for himself.
Many of Kansas City's
recording studios had closed by the mid 1960s. Unable to record, Collins moved to Californiain 1967. He settled in San Francisco and played many of the venues popular with the counter-culture. In early 1969 after playing a concertwith Canned Heat, members of this band introduced him to Liberty Records. In appreciation, Collins’ first record title for United Artists"Love Can Be Found Anywhere", was taken from the lyrics of "Refried Hockey Boogie". Collins signed and released his first albumon Imperial Records, a sister label, in 1968.
Collins remained in California for another five years, and was popular on double-billed shows at
The Fillmoreand the Winterland. Collins moved back to Texas in 1973 and formed a new band. He was signed to Alligator Recordsin 1978 and recorded and released "Ice Pickin"'. He would record seven more albums with the label, before being signed to Point Blank Recordsin 1990.
Throughout the 1980s and early 1990s, Collins toured the
United States, Canada, Europeand Japan. He was becoming a popular blues musician and was an influence for Coco Montoya, Robert Cray, Gary Moore, Debbie Davies, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jonny Lang, Susan Tedeschi, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, John Mayerand Frank Zappa.
In 1983, when he won the W. C. Handy Award for his album "Don't Lose Your Cool", which won the award for best blues album of the year. In 1985, he shared a Grammy for the album "Showdown!", which he recorded with
Robert Crayand Johnny Copeland. The following year his solo release "Cold Snap" was also nominated for a Grammy. In 1987, John Zornenlisted him to play lead guitar in a suite he had composed especially for him, entitled "Two-Lane Highway," on Zorn's album " Spillane".
Alongside George Thorogood and the Destroyers and
Bo Diddley, Collins performed at " Live Aid" in 1985, playing " The Sky Is Crying" and "Madison Blues", at the JFK Stadium. He was the only black blues artist to appear. Collins was invited to play at the 'Legends Of Guitar Festival' concerts in Seville, Spainat the Expoin 1992, where amongst others, he played "Iceman", the title track from his final studio album.
He made his last visit to
London, Englandin March 1993.cite book
title= The Blues: From Robert Johnson to Robert Cray
publisher= Carlton Books Limited
pages= p. 82-83
id= ISBN 1-85868-255-X]
After falling ill at a show in
Switzerlandin late July 1993, he was diagnosed in mid August with lung cancerwhich had metastasizedto his liver, with an expected survival time of four months. Parts of his last album, "Live '92/'93", were recorded at shows that September; he died shortly afterwards, in November at the age of 61. He was survived by his wife, Gwendolyn and father, Andy Thomas. [ [http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1355/is_n7_v85/ai_14632864 Albert Collins, blues great, dies of cancer in Las Vegas - guitar player and vocalist - obituary - Brief Article, Jet, Dec 13, 1993] ] He is interred at the Davis Memorial Park, Las Vegas, Nevada. [ [http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=7454 Findagrave.com - accessed February 2008] ]
Collins will be remembered not only for the quantity of quality blues music that he put out throughout his career that has inspired so many other blues musicians, but also for his legendary live performances, where he would frequently come down from the stage and mingle with the audience whilst still playing. This practice was illustrated in Collins' uncredited
cameoappearance in the film" Adventures in Babysitting". He insisted to Elisabeth Shuethat "nobody leaves this place without singin' the blues", forcing the children to improvise a song before escaping.
Another instance of Collins' humorous stage presence was recounted in the
film documentary, "Antones: Austin's Home of the Blues". Collins left the building, still plugged in and playing. Several minutes after Collins returned to the stage, a pizzadelivery man came in and gave Collins the pizza he had just ordered when he left the building. Collins had gone to Milto's Pizza & Pasta through an adjoining alley and ordered while he was still playing.
Fender Albert Collins Signature Telecaster
Fender Custom Shopcreated an accurate replica of the "Ice Man"'s namesake '66 Custom Telecaster in 1990. This guitar featured a double-bound swamp ash body, a custom-shaped maple neck sporting a separate laminated maple fingerboard with 21 vintage frets, a custom-wound Seymour Duncan'59 humbuckerin the neck position and a Fender Texas Special Tele single-coil in the bridge.
* "Freeze" / "Collins' Shuffle" (Kangaroo KA-103/104)
* "Lonely Heart" / "True Love" (Great Scott 1008)
* "Soulroad" / "I Don't Know" (Tracie 2003)
* "Defrost" / "Albert's Alley" (Hall-Way 1795)
* "Sippin' Soda" / "Homesick" (Hall-Way 1831)
* "Frosty" / "Tremble" (Hall 1920)
* "Thaw-out" / "Backstroke" (Hall 1925)
* "Sno-Cone Part I" / "Sno-Cone Part II" (TCF Hall 104)
* "Dyin' Flu" / "Hot 'n Cold" (TCF Hall 116)
* "Don't Lose Your Cool" / "Frostbite" (TCF Hall 127)
* "Cookin' Catfish" / "Taking my Time" (20th Century 45-6708)
* "Ain't Got Time" / "Got a Good Thing Goin'" (Imperial 66351)
* "Do the Sissy" / "Turnin' On" (Imperial 66391)
* "Conversation with Collins" / "And Then it Started Raining" (Imperial 66412)
* "Coon 'n Collards" / "Do What You Want to Do" (Liberty 56184)
* "Get Your Business Straight" / "Frog Jumpin'" (Tumbleweed 1002) - 1972 - Black Singles #46 [http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:difixqrgldte~T31 AMG discography] ]
* "Eight Days on the Road" / "Stickin'" (Tumbleweed 1007)
* "Blues for Stevie" / "Guitars that Rule the World" (1994)
* 1968 "Love Can Be Found Anywhere (Even In A Guitar)" (Imperial LP-12428)
* 1969 "Trash Talkin"' (Imperial LP-12438)
* 1970 "The Compleat Albert Collins" (Imperial LP-12449)
* 1971 "There's Gotta Be A Change" (Tumbleweed 103) -
* 1978 "
Ice Pickin"' (Alligator 4713)
* 1979 "Albert Collins and Barrelhouse Live" (Munich 225)
* 1980 "Frostbite" (Alligator 4719)
* 1981 "Frozen Alive" (Alligator 4725)
* 1983 "
Don't Lose Your Cool" (Alligator 4730)
* 1983 "Jammin With Albert" - with
* 1984 "Live In Japan" (Alligator 4733)
* 1985 "
Showdown!" (Alligator 4743) - with Robert Crayand Johnny Copeland- Billboard 200 #124
* 1986 "Cold Snap" (Alligator 4752)
* 1991 "Iceman" (Pointblank VPBCD 3)
* 1993 "Collins Mix: His Best" (Pointblank 39097) - not a compilation
* 1995 "Live '92/'93" (Pointblank 40658) - Top Blues Albums #5
* 2000 "Live At The Fillmore West" (Catfish 156)
* 2005 "The Iceman at Mount Fuji" (Fuel2000 061457)
* 2008 "Albert Collins: Live At Montreux 1992" (Eagle Records B0012IWINQ)
* 1965 "The Cool Sounds of Albert Collins" (TCF Hall 8002) - compilation
* 1969 "Truckin' With Albert Collins" (Blue Thumb BTS-8) - re-release of "The Cool Sounds of Albert Collins"
* 1971 "Alive & Cool" (Red Lightnin' 004) - bootleg
Gary Moore- " Still Got the Blues", "After Hours" and " Blues Alive"
David Bowie- "Underground" and "Labyrinth"
Jack Bruce- "A Question of Time"
John Mayall- "Wake Up Call"
B. B. King- "Blues Summit"
Robert Cray- "Shame and a Sin"
Branford Marsalis- "Super Models in Deep Conversation"
John Lee Hooker- "Mr Lucky"
John Zorn- "Spillane"
* 2003 "The Iceman at Mount Fuji" (Varese 061299)
* 2003 "In Concert: One Filter" (Music Video Distributors 6526)
* 2005 "Albert Collins: Warner Bros. Classics" (Warner Brothers 9086390)
* 2008 "Albert Collins: Live At Montreux 1992" (Eagle Rock Entertainment B0012IWNYU)
* 1987 "
Adventures in Babysitting" (as himself). He plays and sings back-up on "Babysitting Blues."
List of blues musicians
List of R&B musicians
List of guitarists
List of Telecaster players
List of people from Texas
Bentonia School (blues)
Six Strings Down
* [http://funky16corners.tripod.com/6_collins_1.htm Albert Collins: The Ice Man Cometh]
* [http://www.tsha.utexas.edu/handbook/online/articles/CC/fcowg.html Albert Collins]
* [http://www.warr.org/collins.html Includes reviews of many of his albums]
* [http://www.fenderplayersclub.com/artists_lounge/hall_of_legends/collins.htm Fender Players Club - Albert Collins]
* [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0092513/fullcredits IMDb:Adventures in Babysitting]
* [http://www.kayosproductions.com/cddvd.php?id=510 Kayos Productions]
* [http://eaglerockent.com/eaglerockUSA/search.php?artist_id=431 Eagle Rock Entertainment]
* [http://authenticblues.com/component/option,com_musicbox/task,viewAuth/Itemid,26/id,33/ Albert Collins at AuthenticBlues.com]
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