When Larry and Lorrie Collins of the Collins Kids stepped onstage at Hemsby-On-Thames in May 1993 before some three thousand raving British rockabilly fans, the brother-sister duo were returning to rock and roll for the first time since they were quite literally children. But the legend of the Collins Kids only grew in their absence. Their '50's recordings were reissued with a startling regularity, culminated by a 1991 Bear Family boxed set from Germany, "Hop Skip & Jump." Bootleg tapes of their TV appearances circulated hotly on the video underground.

As teenagers, the two siblings appeared regularly on "Town Hall Party," a weekly Los Angeles television show hosted by country star Tex Ritter, where the beautiful brunette Lorrie belted out the rock and roll with the authority and audacity of someone twice her age and her exposed nerve younger brother twanged and trilled the double-neck Mosrite guitar with a ferocity equally belying his own age.

Born and raised in Pretty Water, Oklahoma, their father and mother sold the farm and the cows to move to California so the two talented children could pursue their show business destinies. Within a year, the two joined the cast of the weekly country music showcase on Los Angeles television in 1954. It was on "Town Hall Party" that teen idol and TV star Ricky Nelson first saw Lorrie Collins. Before long, she became his first steady girlfriend.

The Collins Kids appeared on national TV shows like Ed Sullivan and Steve Allen and toured with country music stars of the day like Johnny Cash and Carl Perkins before Lorrie's teenage marriage interceded. By 1962, the duo even stopped recording, while Lorrie concentrated on motherhood and Larry turned his skills to songwriting.

Larry Collins experienced considerable success as the author of "Delta Dawn" and "You're the Reason God Made Oklahoma," both nominated for Grammy awards, and he recorded his sister singing duets with longtime friends and associates like Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson (who teamed with Lorrie Collins on the unreleased sequel to Larry's hit, "Daughter Of Delta Dawn"). Larry even recorded his own material in the headquarters of Southern soul, Muscle Shoals, before he remarried and settled in Reno, Nevada, where his sister was also living.

After the enormous success at the Hemsby rockabilly festival, the Collins Kids returned to the States and played sold out dates at both San Francisco's Bimbo's and Hollywood's Palamino nightclubs. Producers Scott Mathews and Joel Selvin, the team behind the extraordinary comeback of surf guitar king Dick Dale, contacted the Collinses about recording and, with a top flight crew of Bay Area rock musicians, set about returning the Collins Kids to the contemporary rock scene, recording a selection of songs by songwriters such as Marshall Crenshaw and Dave Alvin.

Larry and Lorrie Collins may never have achieved the massive stardom the '50's promised them, but their work managed to endure, spreading the word to fans as far-flung as Elvis Costello and Richard Thompson, who both offered to write songs for any forthcoming Collins Kids comeback. Oddly enough, more than thirty years after their last rock and roll record, the Collins Kids' time may have finally come.


    Steve Allen Show
    Ed Sullivan Show
    Dean Martin Show
    Perry Como Show
    Merv Griffin Show
    Johnny Cash Show
    Tony Bennett Show
    Dinah Shore Show
    Johnny Carson Show
    Ozzie and Harriet Show
    Art Linkletter's House Party
    Hollywood Palace
    Ranch-Party Series
    Town Hall Party
    Star-Route Series (with Glen Campbell)
    Grand Ole Opry
    Jackie Gleason Show
    Love of the Common People, (Waylon Jennings Special, script and score written by Larry Collins)

    Harrah's - Reno and Lake Tahoe
    Stardust - Las Vegas
    Sahara - Las Vegas
    Madison Square Garden
    New York State Fair
    Michigan State Fair
    Hawaii State Fair
    Edmonton Exhibit
    Calgary Stampede
    4 European Tours
    4 Far East Tours

    Bear Family Records - GMBLT

    "Rockin' Rollin' Collins Kids,"
    Bear Family Sales (CBS)

    "Rock-A-Billy Stars of the 50's"
    Epic Records (CBS)

    "Rockin' Rollin" Larry Collins and Joe Maphis"
    Bear Family Sales (CBS)

    "The Collins Kids - Volume 11"
    Bear Family Sales (CBS)

    "Hop Skip and Jump" - The Colins Kids
    Bear Family Records BCD15537

  • SONGWRITING: 1981-1982 - You're The Reason God Made Oklahoma, Artists: David Frizell, Shelly West, From: "Any Which Way You Can", soundtrack (Clint Eastwood)

    1981 - Acapulco, Artist: Johnny Duncan, From: "Any Which Way You Can" soundtrack (Clint Eastwood)

    1980 - Pecos Promenade, Artist: Tanya Tucker, Glen Campbell, From: "Smokey and the Bandit 11" soundtrack (Burt Reynolds)

    1980 - Red Eye Special, Artist: Larry Collins, From: "Every Which Way But Loose", soundtrack (Clint Eastwood) 1979 - Tulsa Turnaround, Artist: Kenny Rogers, Triple platinum album

    1972 - Delta Dawn, Artist: Helen Reddy, Tanya Tucker

    Helen Reddy
    Bette Midler
    Waylon Jennings
    Mac Davis
    Three Dog Night
    Henry Mancini
    Willie Nelson
    Lacy J. Dalton
    Lou Rawls
    Gary Pucket
    Sonny James
    Alex Harvey
    Nancy Sinatra
    Merle Haggard
    Ann Margaret


    1982 - Academy of Country Music Song of the Year for You're The Reason God Made Oklahoma.

    1982 - Nashville Songwriters Association, Intl. Song of the year for You're The Reason God Made Oklahoma.

    Screenwriting: Delta Dawn - Treatment development by Paramount Pictures, Producers: Loran Dreyfus and Larry collins, Music: Larry Collins.

    Historically credited as one of the originators of "Rock-A-Billy" music in the mid 50's, at the age of eight and ten, Tulsa, Oklahoma born Larry and Lorrie Collins, entertained audiences around the globe as "The Rockin' Rollin' Collins Kids". It was an auspicious beginning for the next twenty years of successful music making as a duo. In the 70's, Larry turned his attention to songwriting. He produced an impressive list of hits including two Grammy nominations, "Delta Dawn" and "You're The Reason God Made Oklahoma", maintaining his status over the next two decades in the entertainment industry. Today their "unique", high energy sound has catapulted this dynamic duo into the "Rock-A-Billy" Hall of Fame.

  • Rockabilly Hall of Fame