Cal Collins

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Cal Collins
Born(1933-05-05)May 5, 1933
Medora, Indiana, U.S.
Died(2001-08-27)August 27, 2001
Dillsboro, Indiana
GenresJazz, swing
LabelsConcord Jazz
Associated actsBenny Goodman

Cal Collins (May 5, 1933 – August 27, 2001) was an American jazz guitarist.

Born in Medora, Indiana, Collins first played the mandolin professionally as a bluegrass musician in the early 1950s. After service in the Army, he moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, and switched to jazz guitar[1][2] after hearing swing guitarists Charlie Christian, Irving Ashby, and Oscar Moore. He played in Cincinnati for twenty years.[1]

Benny Goodman hired him in 1976 at the age of 43.[2] He spent three years with the Goodman orchestra and then three years making albums for Concord Jazz. As a leader and sideman, he worked with Scott Hamilton, Warren Vache, Rosemary Clooney, Ross Tompkins, Woody Herman, John Bunch, and Marshal Royal.[1]

In the early 1980s, Collins returned to Cincinnati and slowed down his career. He joined the Masters of the Steel String Guitar Tour in 1993 with Jerry Douglas and Doc Watson and recorded his last album in 1998. In 2001, he died of liver failure.[1]


  • Ohio Boss Guitar (Famous Door, 1978)
  • Cincinnati to L.A. (Concord Jazz, 1978)
  • In San Francisco (Concord Jazz, 1978)
  • Blues on My Mind (Concord Jazz, 1979)
  • By Myself (Concord Jazz, 1980)
  • Interplay with Herb Ellis (Concord Jazz, 1980)
  • Cross Country (Concord Jazz, 1981)
  • Milestones (Pausa, 1984)
  • Crack'd Rib (Mo Pro, 1985)
  • Ohio Style (Concord Jazz, 1990)
  • S'us Four (J Curve, 1998)


  1. ^ a b c d Yanow, Scott (2013). The Great Jazz Guitarists. San Francisco: Backbeat. p. 49. ISBN 978-1-61713-023-6.
  2. ^ a b Prato, Greg. "Cal Collins". AllMusic. Retrieved 6 March 2017.