Albert Collins

A guitar legend dubbed "The Master of the Telecaster", Albert Collins' searing electric riffs inspired the likes of Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan and helped define the Texas Blues sound of the 1960s and 1970s. Taught to play by his cousin, Collins worked his way up through smokey Houston clubs, meeting and hanging out with his heroes John Lee Hooker, Lightnin' Hopkins and T-Bone Walker, before releasing debut single The Freeze in 1958, backed by what would become his signature tune Collins Shuffle. His use of alternative tunings and a unique thumb plucking technique created a distinctive sound and, after building a keen local following through instrumental tracks Sno-Cone and Don't Lose Your Cool, he hit the big time with the million-selling hit Frosty in 1962. Taken to California by Canned Heat in 1968, Collins became a key part of the blues revival and went on to record with Ike and Tina Turner, Gary Moore and David Bowie. His own albums Truckin' (1970), Ice Pickin' (1976) and Cold Snap (1986) proved hugely influential and he won a Grammy Award for Showdown! (1985), a collaboration with Robert Cray and Johnny Copeland; but it was on stage that he truly excelled, strapping his guitar over one shoulder and unleashing lightning assaults of improvised fret work. He died in 1993, aged 61, of lung cancer, but remains one of the great guitar icons of his era.

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Stations Featuring Albert Collins

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