Albert Collins (October 1, 1932 – November 24, 1993), the Texas bluesman with the distinct “icy” clear guitar sound, started recording in 1958. He started his career playing the Houston clubs and venues, but later moved to Kansas City, ending up moving between Houston and San Francisco. After years of only moderate success, he signed up with Alligator Records in 1977 where he recorded several albums that were nominated for a Grammy award. In 1983, he won the W. C. Handy Award for his album Don’t Lose Your Cool. The album won the award for Best Blues Album of the Year. In 1987, He shared a Grammy for the album Showdown! with Robert Cray and Johnny Copeland with whom he had recorded the album in 1986. His solo release Cold Snap was nominated for a Grammy the following year.
While on a tour in Switzerland in 1993 , Collins fell ill, and later was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer which had already spread to his liver. He died in November 1993 at his home in Las Vegas.
Albert Collins has influenced many contemporary Blues artists: Robert Cray and Stevie Ray Vaughan among others.
Here’s the crystal clear trademark sound of Albert Collins’ guitar on Blues Thursday.