Lee Collins

Leeds "Lee" Collins (October 17, 1901 – July 3, 1960) was an American jazz trumpeter.

Collins was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, United States. As a teenager, he played in brass bands, including the Young Eagles, the Columbia Band, and the Tuxedo Brass Band. In the 1910s, he played in New Orleans alongside Louis Armstrong, Papa Celestin, and Zutty Singleton. He moved to Chicago, Illinois, in 1924, where he replaced Louis Armstrong in King Oliver's band. He also played with Jelly Roll Morton, but the two had disagreements and fell out when Collins claimed that Morton stole the song "Fish Tail Blues" from him. Collins returned to New Orleans, where he played on the recordings of the Jones & Collins Astoria Hot Eight in 1929. He then played in New York City with Luis Russell in 1930. He went back to Chicago, where he played with Dave Peyton (1930), the Chicago Ramblers (1932), Johnny Dodds and Baby Dodds, Zutty Singleton, Mezz Mezzrow, Lovie Austin, and Jimmy Bertrand (1945).

Collins played in Chicago through the 1930s and 1940s as an accompanist to many blues singers and in nightclubs. After 1945, he led his own band at the Victory Club, on Clark Street in Chicago, and gigged with Bertha Hill (1946), Kid Ory (1948), and Art Hodes (1950–1951). He played in Europe with Mezz Mezzrow in 1951 and 1954 and in California with Joe Sullivan in 1953. In the mid-1950s he retired because of illness.

Collins wrote an autobiography, Oh, Didn't He Ramble, with the aid of his wife, Mary, which was originally published in 1974.

Collins died in Chicago in July 1960, at the age of 58.

Birth and Death Data: Born October 17th, 1901 (New Orleans), Died July 3rd, 1960 (Chicago)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1926 - 1936

Roles Represented in DAHR: trumpet, composer, cornet

Recordings

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor BVE-36285 10-in. 9/21/1926 Steamboat stomp Jelly Roll Morton ; Red Hot Peppers Jazz/dance band, with talk instrumentalist, cornet  
Victor BVE-56534 10-in. 11/15/1929 Astoria strut Jones and Collins Astoria Hot Eight Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, trumpet, composer  
Victor BVE-56535 10-in. 11/15/1929 Duet stomp Jones and Collins Astoria Hot Eight Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, trumpet  
Victor BVE-56536 10-in. 11/15/1929 Damp weather Jones and Collins Astoria Hot Eight Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, trumpet  
Victor BVE-56537 10-in. 11/15/1929 Tip easy blues Jones and Collins Astoria Hot Eight Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, trumpet  
Victor BS-100677 10-in. 8/5/1936 I can dish it—can you take it Blue Scott and his Blue Boys Male vocal solo, with jazz/dance quartet instrumentalist, trumpet  
Victor BS-100678 10-in. 8/5/1936 You can't lose Blue Scott and his Blue Boys Male vocal solo, with jazz/dance quartet instrumentalist, trumpet  
Victor BS-100681 10-in. 8/5/1936 Trouble in mind Richard M. Jones Male vocal solo, with instrumental trio instrumentalist, trumpet  
Victor BS-100682 10-in. 8/5/1936 Black rider Richard M. Jones Male vocal solo, with instrumental trio instrumentalist, trumpet  

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Collins, Lee," accessed October 20, 2021, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/105929.

Collins, Lee. (2021). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved October 20, 2021, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/105929.

"Collins, Lee." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2021. Web. 20 October 2021.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/105929

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