California Country songwriter and guitarist Larry Collins passed away on January 5, 2024. He was 79 years old.
Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1977, Collins would only remain in the state for a short while. His older sister Lorrie won a talent competition in Tulsa which prompted the entire family to move to L.A. The siblings formed a duo, the Collins Kids, and became regulars on the show Town Hall Party in 1954. Through the show, the duo was able to play alongside legends of the day including Lefty Frizzell, Marty Robbins, Patsy Cline, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash and more.
Larry went on to pursue a successful solo career. He had several hits under his belt from his days in the duo. But it was writing “Delta Dawn” that would propel his career forward, as well as launch the career of newcomer Tanya Tucker. In 1981, his song “You’re the Reason God Made Oklahoma” co-written with Sandy Pinkard and recorded by David Frizzell and Shelly West reached No. 1. It was also awarded ACM Song of the Year. His songs were recorded by artists such as Mac Davis, Nancy Sinatra, Lou Rawls, Alex Harvey, Bette Midler and others.