Lorrie Collins, Rockabilly Singer (Collins Kids), Dies at 76

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The Collins Kids, Lorrie and Larry

The older half of the 1950s rockabilly sibling duo the Collins Kids, Lorrie Collins, died Aug. 4. Her younger brother and professional partner Larry Collins confirmed her death in a post on social media, writing:

“My sister Lorrie Collins Passed away on this day August 4 2018
She would want All of her loyal fans to know
God bless you my angelic beloved sister
Larry Collins”

Lorrie Collins was 76. Larry Collins told the New York Times that his sister had died from injuries related to a fall.

Lawrencine May “Lorrie” Collins was born May 7, 1942, in Tahlequah, Okla., with Lawrence “Larry” Collins following in 1944. Talented from early childhood—Lorrie won a talent contest at age 8—they started a musical duo, with Larry playing guitar—as early as age 10 he was considered something of a whiz on the instrument—and the pair singing in harmony. As rock ’n’ roll came into vogue, the Collins Kids relocated to Southern California and adapted easily, making an impression locally via television and TV—particularly on the Town Hall Party program, beginning in 1954, and the syndicated version of the show, called Tex Ritter’s Ranch Party (1957-59).

Lorrie Collins

While appearing on Town Hall Party, the act caught the eye of teen idol Ricky Nelson, who began briefly dating Lorrie Collins and featured the siblings on The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet in 1958 (Lorrie played Ricky’s girlfriend and her identical twin). The Collins Kids also performed a song on the program. They also appeared on Steve Allen’s TV program and others, and performed at the Grand Ole Opry.

The Collins Kids signed with Columbia Records and released such singles as “Hop, Skip and Jump,” “Beetle Bug Bop” and “Hoy Hoy.” None of them cracked the Billboard chart but their recordings were later discovered by record collectors and compiled many times on album collections. The Collins Kids continued to perform sporadically into the early 1960s, then went their separate ways professionally, with Larry having some success as a country songwriter (“Delta Dawn” for Tanya Tucker, “You’re the Reason God Made Oklahoma,” for David Frizzell and Shelly West).

Related: The Stray Cats helped revive rockabilly in the 1980s

The Collins Kids reunited in 1993 for a rockabilly festival in the U.K. and continued to perform together into the current century.

Watch the Collins Kids perform “Hop, Skip and Jump” in 1957

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