About ...Eddie Collins
Eddie’s musical journey began in Philadelphia, the year 1962. At the age of five, he was ushered into Sound Plus Recording Studios by his uncle Fr. Jim Drucker, a booking agent / disc jockey / music publisher, requesting Eddie to provide a spoken intro to a song called “The Day Rock & Roll Dies”. Armed with a group of studio musicians, and back up singers “The Ly- Dells” (…known for their 1961 hit “Wizard Of Love” ). Eddie found himself immersed into the world of rock music. Also, during this period he was under consideration to audition for a role as the son of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton ,in the 20th Century Fox release of “Cleopatra.” Unfortunately, Eddie didn’t get to shine on the silver screen !
During 1965, he developed an interest playing the cornet, then saxophone, until a family move to Hazleton Pa. in 1966, sparked his interest with the drums. At age thirteen in 1970, Eddie was performing on Saturday nights with a variety trio, “ The Key 3”, and also as a percussionist with the “Hazleton Philharmonic Orchestra”. The year 1972 would bring the formation of his first rock band “Tammany Hall”, and the mid 70’s found him with “Jet”, “Sheriff Jones” and “The Mudflaps”.
In Feb.1978, Eddie received a phone call from veteran songwriter / producer Billy Carlucci, (“Lesley Gore”, “1910 Fruitgum Co.”, “The Pixies Three”) asking Eddie to recruit a backup band to go on tour with “Danny and The Juniors”. After meeting with Carlucci, and Joe Terry of the act, rehearsals were begun, but the deal fell thru. Months later, Frank Zangari , keyboardist for “The Orlons”, had forwarded Eddie’s materials to Philadelphia theatrical agent, Norman Joyce, of The Jolly Joyce Agency, offering Eddie a slot as drummer and musical director for an upcoming tour with “The Drifters”.
Eddie took the gig, a fourteen state tour of the U.S., which included an appearance on ABC TV affiliate KMBC in Kansas City, Missouri, performing for cast members of the show “Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman”. While on this tour, Eddie’s talents caught the eye of Hal James, founding member of “The Sanford Townsend Band”, known for their 1976 hit “Smoke From A Distant Fire”. James , was in the process of reforming the Warner Bros. recording act, and wanted Eddie to join forces and relocate to Dearborn, Michigan. Eddie considered the opportunity, but due to conflicting schedules of band members, and contractual ties, the project was aborted.
In 1980, during a performance in Lenox, Massachusetts with the group “Magic Machine”, Eddie was spotted by associates of “Aerosmith” guitarist Joe Perry, who were talent scouting ,and approached Eddie in auditioning for “The Joe Perry Project”, unfortunately it didn’t materialize …but, as they say … ”that’s rock and roll !" Eddie decided to pack his suitcases in 1981, returned home spending more time with his wife Debbie and children , and continued to perform regionally in Pennsylvania with top forty bands “Ryze”, “Ruff Boy”, and a stint with oldies revival outfit “The Mudflaps”, before trading his drumsticks for a microphone.
The realm of radio broadcasting was Eddie’s next venture, and in 1983 “Mr.Ed” began to ride the airwaves, as on-air personality and music director for WLSH AM-Lansford Pa. WXPX AM / WQEQ FM- Hazleton Pa., WARM AM / WMGS FM- Wilkes-Barre Pa., WHLM AM / FM- Bloomsburg Pa., WMIM AM / WSPI FM- Shamokin Pa., and WMGH FM- Tamaqua Pa., a station “Mr.Ed” would return as host & producer of “Saturday Night at The Oldies” from March 2000 – November 2002. During his tenure in radio, Eddie was instrumental in promoting, and introducing regional artists to national record labels. He has been acknowleged for his efforts on album releases by “Dirty Looks” (Atlantic Records) , “Synch” (Columbia Records) and “Harpo”(Atlas Records).
Eddie made his return to the stage in 1991, as lead vocalist / bass guitarist for “The Rocket 88’s”, and was producer of their albums “Echoes Of An Era” and “Millennium Memories”. The act appeared in concert with “Jay & The Techniques”, “The Coasters”, and “Bill Haley’s Comets”. Since 2005, Eddie has performed as vocalist with a nine piece retrospective tribute act “The Golden Age Of Rock & Roll Road Show”.Other ventures included playing bass guitar and handling vocals for an acoustic trio“The Fat Cats,”drumming for spinoff blues group “The Mojo Dogs”, entertaining with his mobile disc jockey system as “Mr.Ed’s Jukebox Heroes,” and performing with his children in various projects as "The Collins Bunch."
An ardent musicologist, Eddie has provided a wealth of information to various authors, and industry leaders, from his personal archives, of over 25,000 45 rpm records, an impressive collection of LPs, 78’s, and rock and roll memorabilia. He compiled the discography for “The Jordan Brothers”, a book written by Maxim W. Furek, also a contributor to Mike Kuzmin’s “Sounds From The Woods”, and television documentary of “The Buoys” by John Chintala aired on FOX TV affiliate WOLF TV. Eddie has been privileged to have interviewed, emceed, and performed with many of rock and roll’s iconic artists , such as “Ray Charles”, “The Guess Who”, “Tommy James,”, “Pete Best–The Beatles”, “The Shangri-Las”, “Chubby Checker, naming just a few from his extensive credit list of legendary celebrities.
Eddie is a member of Keystone Record Collectors, Lancaster PA,(served as their Vice President 2011 -2015), and also a member of Broadcast Pioneers Of Philadelphia. He is curator for The Jordan Brothers Legacy Room museum exhibit on display at the Frackville Museum in Frackville PA., honoring the band's regional and national acclaim of which he was coordinator and project supervisor, opening in November 2015.