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Curley Collins Collection

Overview

Abstract

Scope and Contents

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

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Curley Collins Collection, 1928-2002 | Berea College Special Collections and Archives Catalog

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Collection Overview

Title: Curley Collins Collection, 1928-2002Add to your cart.

Extent: 1.0 MS boxes

Subjects: Catlettsburg (Ky.) -- History., Country music -- Georgia -- Atlanta -- 20th century., Country music -- Virginia -- Richmond., Country musicians -- Kentucky., Cross Roads Follies (Radio Program)., Old Dominion Barn Dance (Radio Program)., WCMI (Radio Station: Ashland, Ky.)., WRVA (Radio Station: Richmond, Va.)., WSAZ (Radio Station: Huntington, WV.)., WSB (Radio station: Atlanta, Ga.).

Languages: English

Abstract

Ruel Culbertson (Curley) Collins (1915-1986) played the fiddle, guitar, and banjo in country and western bands of the 1930s-1980s. Born near the Boyd County seat town of Catlettsburg in northeastern Kentucky, Curley Collins grew up hearing the music of his father, Neal, on banjo and his mother, Maggie, on the pump organ at church. He also was listening to country music on records, nearby radio stations, and major network programs such as the National Barn Dance and the Grand Ole Opry. He began playing music professionally at age 14 with Catlettsburg area bands such as Dolpha Skaggs' Mountain Melody Boys and the Prairie Pals, both in live performance and on radio stations WSAZ and WCMI in Huntington, WV and Ashland, KY respectively.

Collins went on to perform with popular Kentucky band Pop Eckler and His Young'uns, first on station WLW and WKRC in Cincinnati and then WSB in Atlanta on its "Cross Roads Follies" broadcasts. The band performed variety shows throughout the Southeast, in which Collins, who won a national fiddling contest in 1938, played, sang, and danced. Following Army service during the Second World War, Collins partnered with singer Benny Kissinger, and they were featured on the "Old Dominion Barn Dance" show on WRVA (Richmond, Va.), 1946-1957. After some years out of the music business, Collins and Kissinger revived their act in 1979, playing to appreciative audiences until Collins' death in 1986.

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The Curley Collins collection documents the musician's career with news clippings, radio station program listings, and advertisements; photographs; periodical articles and book excerpts; correspondence; legal documents; and writings.

Included in correspondence with music historian Wayne Daniel is a questionnaire Collins completed along with copies of several published pieces by Daniel that discuss Collins and the musicians with whom he worked. Also included are a family produced disc recording of banjo tunes by Curley's father Neal; an audio cassette of 1946 era radio programs on WRVA in Richmond, Virginia on which Collins performed; and a 1980s era commercial CD of the singing and playing of Curley Collins and Benny Kessinger. The material dates 1928-1956, 1964-1969, and 1975-2002. All non-audio items in the collection are in photocopied form. In addition to information about Collins, this collection is particularly useful for its provision of details regarding the commercialization of traditional music in northeastern Kentucky during the early to mid-1900s.

Subject/Index Terms

Catlettsburg (Ky.) -- History.
Country music -- Georgia -- Atlanta -- 20th century.
Country music -- Virginia -- Richmond.
Country musicians -- Kentucky.
Cross Roads Follies (Radio Program).
Old Dominion Barn Dance (Radio Program).
WCMI (Radio Station: Ashland, Ky.).
WRVA (Radio Station: Richmond, Va.).
WSAZ (Radio Station: Huntington, WV.).
WSB (Radio station: Atlanta, Ga.).

Administrative Information

Repository: Berea College Special Collections and Archives Catalog

Access Restrictions: Records can be accessed through the Reading Room, Berea College Special Collections and Archives, Hutchins Library, Berea College.

Use Restrictions: There are no restrictions on use of this material other than federal copyright regulations.

Acquisition Source: Phillip G. Collins

Preferred Citation: [Object identification], Curley Collins Collection, Berea College Special Collections & Archives, Berea, KY.

Processing Information: Donor Phillip G. Collins organized the material.  The finding aid was created in July 2015 by Lori Myers-Steele, Collections Archivist, and Harry Rice, Sound Archivist.

Other Note: BCA 0119 SAA 119


Box and Folder Listing


Browse by Box:

[Box 1],
[All]

Box 1Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Curley Collins - WRVA: Printed Material and PhotographsAdd to your cart.
Folder 2: Neal Collins: Printed Material and PhotographsAdd to your cart.
Folder 3: Curley Collins - Biography: Printed Material, Photos, News ClippingsAdd to your cart.
Folder 4: Mountain Melody Boys No. 1: Printed Material and PhotographsAdd to your cart.
Folder 5: Mountain Melody Boys No.2: Printed Material and PhotographsAdd to your cart.
Folder 6: Pop Eckler No. 1: Printed Material, Photos, News ClippingsAdd to your cart.
Folder 7: Pop Eckler N0. 2: Printed Material, Photos, News ClippingsAdd to your cart.
Folder 8: Pop Eckler PhotosAdd to your cart.
Folder 9: Curley Collins PhotosAdd to your cart.
Folder 10: Curley Collins - WWVA Jamboree: News Clippings and Printed MaterialAdd to your cart.
Folder 11: Curley Collins - Richmond, VA: Printed Material, Photos, FliersAdd to your cart.
Folder 12: Tennessee Ramblers - Tape ContentsAdd to your cart.
Folder 13: Mountain Melody Boys - PhotosAdd to your cart.
Cassette Tape 1: Tennessee Ramblers - WWVA 1945-1946. Tape CassetteAdd to your cart.
Cassette Tape 2: Benny and Curley Sing Nashville Picks 1981, Tape CassetteAdd to your cart.
CD 1: Benny and Curley Sing Nashville Picks 1981. CD format.Add to your cart.
Item 1: Neal Collins and his mountain banjo featuring Breaking Up Ice in the Allegheny - Nashville Record Productions ~ 33 1/3 speed E.P.Add to your cart.
Item 2: Neal Collins and his mountain banjo featuring Breaking Up Ice in the Allegheny - Nashville Record Productions ~ 33 1/3 speed E.P.Add to your cart.


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