He is a singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist
born in Baltimore, Maryland and raised in Texas City, Texas, who started
singing at a local tavern before he was a teenager, although unknown to his
mother at the time. He played
with the rock and roll group The Nomads when he was in junior high school. He settled in Nashville against his
mother’s wishes in 1968 and got himself work at The Wheel as a member
of their house band trio.
Dolly Parton had encouraged him to go to Nashville in
1967, and call her when he got there, after she had heard him play when he
managed to creep backstage to her dressing room to meet her at a concert she
was performing in Texas with Porter Wagoner. It was several years later that he
managed to meet her again, but this time he was a guest on The Porter Wagoner Show.
He managed to land himself a contract with Mega
Records in Nashville not too long after having been there and released his
first single. His next releases
soon found him success with charting singles such as “There’s a
Kind of Hush” and “Time to Spread My Wings”. He signed to Dot Records in the
early 1970s and his first single with them, “I Wish You Had
Stayed” got into the Top 25.
The second release wasn’t as successful but the
one that followed that, “Statue of a Fool”, took him to the No.
1 spot on the country chart in 1974.
This success led him to appear on an international tour for UNICEF
with Leroy Van Dyke and Tom T. Hall and also performing at the Grand Ole
Opry. He credits the singer
Johnny Lee with teaching him the song and inspiring him to record it.
He followed with further chart hits such as
“I’d Still Be in Love With You”, “Queen of
Temptation”, “Sweet Memories” and “That’s the
Way Love Should Be”. He
recorded for RCA from 1978 but achieved no further success, so went onto
the Primero Records label in the early 1980s, having a couple of minor
chart hits, but in 1983 he retired from the music business when he became a
born again Christian.
He toured for four years as a gospel singer and
preacher and later on took up a career in finance as a Regional Sales
Manager. He did this line of
work for several years, but after moving back to Texas in recent years he
decided to go back into concentrating on music in the form of songwriting
and recording again.
He has appeared on several album releases during his
career including his own That’s the Way Love Should Be,
This is Brian Collins and the compilations History of the Texas
Garage Bands in the ‘60s, Vol. 2: The Orbit Years and The ABC
As a songwriter he was the co-writer with his bass
player, Robby Campbell, of the song “Hello Texas” which was
recorded by Jimmy Buffett for the Grammy nominated soundtrack of the 1980
film Urban Cowboy and the debut single from his latest album,
“Farewell, Mr. Guitar Man” was co-written as a tribute to
the great guitar legends.
Recently he has been working on his new album Canned
Goods after having been away from the studio for a decade and his songs
have been once again appearing on country radio stations.
Jimmy Buffett recordings
Hello Texas (Brian Collins/Robby Campbell)
(Asylum E-47073-A mono/stereo) (US Promo 45)