“Delta Dawn” Co-Writer Larry Collins Dies At Age 79

“Delta Dawn” Co-Writer Larry Collins Dies At Age 79 | Classic Country Music | Legendary Stories and Songs Videos

Larry Collins / Facebook

Songwriter, Guitarist, And Collins Kids Member Larry Collins Has Died

Country music has lost another one of its legendary figures. The multi-talented Larry Collins has died.

Larry Collins was born on October 4, 1944 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. His family moved to Southern California nine years later after Larry’s sister, Lorrie, won a talent contest. Leon McAuliffe, the steel guitar player for Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys, gave the Collins family the advice to move.

Soon after, Larry and Lorrie formed a rockabilly duo called The Collins Kids.

Larry Collins around the time The Collins Kids would have been in their heyday
Larry Collins / Facebook

The siblings became regular performers on the country music program Town Hall Party in 1954, when Larry was 10 and Lorrie was 12. Then in 1956, they performed on the first televised broadcast of the Grand Ole Opry.

The Collins Kids had several hits, including “Hop, Skip and Jump,” “Beetle Bug Bop,” and “Hoy Hoy.” Although the songs were catered to children, listeners of all ages loved the tunes.

While in The Collins Kids, Larry earned a reputation as a skilled guitarist. His mentor was fellow Town Hall Party regular Joe Maphis. According to Vintage Guitar Magazine, Joe gave Larry a double-neck Mosrite guitar, which Larry played throughout his life.

Larry Went On To Become A Songwriter, And Co-Wrote Some Of Country Music’s Greatest Songs

The Collins Kids continued to perform into the 1960s. They took a break for a bit before reuniting at a rockabilly revival concert in 1993. From that point forward, they performed together until Lorrie retired in 2012. She passed away in 2018.

On top of singing in The Collins Kids, Larry was also a talented songwriter. In fact, he helped pen some of country music’s greatest songs of all time.

Larry co-wrote “Delta Dawn” with fellow songwriter Alex Harvey. A young Tanya Tucker recorded the track, and turned it into a huge hit. It’s still considered to be Tanya’s signature song.

Helen Reddy later made “Delta Dawn” a #1 hit on the all-genre Billboard Hot 100 chart. Her version led to a Best Country Song Grammy nomination for Larry and Alex.

Additionally, Larry co-wrote “You’re the Reason God Made Oklahoma” with Sandy Pinkard. David Frizzell and Shelly West were the first to record the song, which reached #1 on the Hot Country Singles chart.

Larry also shared a co-writing partnership with Mac Davis. Their songs were recorded by the likes of Nancy Sinatra, Lou Rawls, and Davis himself.

Larry Collins’ Daughter Shares News Of His Passing

Larry’s daughter, Larissa, shared some sad news on his Facebook page on Monday (January 8). She said, “It is with a very broken heart that I tell you my father passed away Friday, January 5, 2024.”

Larissa said her father, “was surrounded by family and went peacefully of natural causes.” She continued to thank everyone for loving and supporting him throughout his career.

We’re all so proud of him — his amazing talent and his generous heart. We’ll miss him terribly,” she said.

According to Vintage Guitar Magazine, Larry is survived by Larissa, his two grandsons, and his sister Nicki. Our hearts and prayers go out to them during their time of loss.

May Larry rest in peace…

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