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Albert Collins (1932-1993)

Albert Collins

The Master of the Telecaster

Albert Collins was born on October 1, 1932, in Leona, Texas. A cousin of the legendary Lightnin' Hopkins, Albert Collins emerged with a blues sound and style all his own, featuring a combination of icy echo, shattering, ringing, sustained high notes, an ultra-percussive right-hand attack, and an unheard-of minor key guitar tuning (taught to him by his cousin Willow Young). Deeply influenced by T-Bone Walker, John Lee Hooker and Gatemouth Brown, Albert Collins absorbed the sounds of Mississippi, Chicago, and especially Texas. He formed his own band in 1952, packing clubs around Houston. In the early 1960s, Albert Collins' "cool sound" instrumentals like the million-seller Frosty (recorded with a young Johnny Winter and Janis Joplin in attendance at the studio) and follow-ups Sno Cone and Thaw Out were all over R&B radio. Soon Albert Collins was sharing stages with his idols Gatemouth Brown and T-Bone Walker. Then, in the mid-'60s (following a move from Texas to Kansas City to California), Albert Collins broke into the rock 'n' roll world, releasing three albums produced by members of Canned Heat, and began playing the San Francisco psychedelic circuit. But Albert Collins' greatest success came after he signed with Alligator in 1978 and cut Ice Pickin'. It won the Best Blues Album of the Year Award from the Montreux Jazz Festival, and was nominated for a Grammy. His following Alligator albums helped earn Albert Collins every award the blues world had to offer. And, along with Johnny Copeland and Robert Cray (who decided on a career as a bluesman after seeing Albert Collins play his high school prom) Collins cut the Grammy-winning Showdown!. Even after he was firmly established as a major modern bluesman, Albert Collins never got too big for his fans and friends, and never took things easy. And he never relinquished the wheel of his battered tour bus that he loved to drive so much. Along with his band, The Icebreakers, Albert Collins' live shows - driven by his kinetic stage presence - were legendary testaments to the power of the blues. With his untimely death on November 24, 1993 in Las Vegas, NV, Albert Collins left behind a blues legacy that continues to amaze and delight blues fans all over the world.

Visit also these related Sites:

Albert Collins Tribute Pages

Biographical Information on Albert Collins

Various Articles on Albert Collins

Reviews and Critiques of Albert Collins Live Performances and Recordings

Albert Collins Lyrics

Albert Collins Photos

Albert Collins Videos

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