When sibling duo Lorrie and Larry Collins performed on the 1950s country TV show Town Hall Party, they were a couple of spitfires. Larry wore rhinestone Nudie suits and played a double-neck Mosrite guitar almost as big as himself while his sister sang harmonies. On the show, which was hosted by cowboy singer Tex Ritter, the Collins Kids charmed audiences and were mentored by flashy country guitarist Joe Maphis. Surf-guitar king Dick Dale even studied their finger-picking techniques in early appearances on the show.
Despite their youth and the fact that they were performing country music, they brought an untamed, proto-punk sensibility to West Coast rockabilly and country scenes. Even though their records failed to sell in the millions (perhaps because Columbia's A&R execs pushed them into the kiddie genre), they made a name for themselves as an exuberant, unhinged act.
One of the best examples is "Whistle Bait," which still sounds a little weird sixty years later. The song also shows off Larry's wildly distinctive, finger-picking style.
Today, Larry Collins can be seen weekdays on NBC 5 News as a reporter. He has gathered news from New Orleans to New York City and is proud to call North Texas home. He is a news-hound at heart and believes the person at the center of every story is worth telling. He's covered everything from the destruction of Hurricane Katrina to the riots in Baltimore and the deaths of nine firefighters in Charleston.