Sam Collins (musician)

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Sam Collins (August 11, 1887 – October 20, 1949),[1] sometimes known as Crying Sam Collins[2] and also (according to an authoritative source)[3] as Jim Foster, Jelly Roll Hunter, Big Boy Woods, Bunny Carter, and Salty Dog Sam, was an early American blues singer and guitarist.[1]


Collins was born in Louisiana, United States,[1] and grew up in McComb, Mississippi, just across the state border. By 1924 he was performing in local barrelhouses, often with King Solomon Hill; both of them sang falsetto parts and played slide guitar. Collins's first recording in 1927 was "Yellow Dog Blues", made for Gennett Records and recorded in Richmond, Indiana. His bottleneck guitar was referred to as a 'git-fiddle' on record labels of the time, and Robert Palmer noted that his guitar "seemed to literally weep".[2] He recorded again in 1931; some of his later recordings appeared under different pseudonyms. His rural bottleneck guitar pieces were among the first to be compiled on LP. His best-known recording is "The Jail House Blues".[1]

Collins relocated to Chicago, Illinois, in the late 1930s, He died there from the effects of heart disease in October 1949, at the age of 62.[1]



  • 14 Rare Country Blues by Sam Collins & 2 Surprises by King Solomon Hill (Origin Jazz Library, 1965)
  • Jailhouse Blues (Yazoo, 1990)
  • King of the Blues Vol. 11 (P-Vine, 1992)
  • Complete Recorded Works in Chronological Order 1927–1931 (Document, 1992)


1927, Richmond, Indiana

1931, New York


  1. ^ a b c d e "The Dead Rock Stars Club - The 50s and earlier". Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  2. ^ a b Robert Palmer. Deep Blues. Penguin Books. p. 123. ISBN 978-0-14-006223-6.
  3. ^ "Sam Collins". Retrieved 4 February 2019.