A country singer and tunesmith with a soulful touch who enjoyed a modest run of hits in the '70s, Brian Collins was born in Baltimore, Maryland on October 19, 1950.
Collins' family headed southwest when he was young, and he spent much of his youth in Texas City, Texas. In his teens, Collins was bitten by the rock & roll bug, and was part of a local band called the Nomads (one of several groups using the name in the mid-'60s). And in very mid-'60s fashion, the group ran afoul of the Texas City school district, who insisted the semi-long hair worn by the young rockers violated their code of conduct, while Collins and company prevailed with the argument that their hair was vital to their career in music. After the Nomads ran their course, Collins embraced country music, and got his big break when Dolly Parton saw him performing in Texas and urged him to take a shot at a career in Nashville. After cutting a handful of sides for Mega Records that achieved minor success, Collins landed a deal with Dot Records. In 1973, his recording of "I Wish (You Had Stayed)" rose to number 24 on the Country Singles charts, and the following year, he released "Statue of a Fool," which peaked at number 10 on the Country Singles survey. His first album, 1973's This Is Brian Collins, also made it to number 10 on the Country Albums charts, and his second LP, That's the Way Love Should Be, appeared in stores in 1974, with the title tune topping out at number 23 as a Country Single. "That's the Way Love Should Be" proved to be Collins' last record to make the Country Top 40, and in 1978, he left Dot for RCA, where he cut three singles. In 1982 and 1983, he released three singles for the independent Primero label, two of which scratched the lower reaches of the country charts. Little was heard from him from the mid-'80s onward, but in 2010, he returned with a six-song EP, 6 BC, and he continues to make live appearances in Texas. ~ Mark Deming