Arthur Francis Collins (19th century singer)

~ Person

Annotation

Vocals: baritone

His grandfather was Reverend Joseph Perry, and his father was Captain Arthur Collins. He was the oldest of 10 children. He had one son, Sergeant Arthur Perry Collins. He grew up and lived in New Jersey, breeding horses and cattle. When he retired in 1926, he and his wife moved to Tice, Florida, where he grew oranges. He died of old age.

Known as "The King of Ragtime Songs".

Though he was one of the most prolific singers of the cylinder and early record market, and thus had many hits, he was most famous for "The Preacher and the Bear", which he recorded many times for various labels. That song is often credited for composition to Joe Arizona, but correctly credited to George Fairman. Fairman, a pianist, sold the rights to the song to Arizona, the owner of the cafe in which he played, for $250 in either 1902 or 1903. (Fairman's recollection, in 1955, was hazy as to the exact date of the sale of the song.)

Unlike most other artists of his time, who used various pseudonyms depending on the label and/or type of song being sung, Collins never used a pseudonym for any of his solo releases, regardless of the label.

On October 20, 1921, while touring as part of the duo of Arthur F. Collins & Byron G. Harlan for Edison Records' Test Tone recording demonstrations, he was walking off-stage when he fell through a trapdoor accidentally left open. This left him bedridden and unable to travel, perform, or record until mid-1923, when he had recovered sufficiently that he again was able to tour and record with Harlan for Edison.

Annotation last modified on 2010-09-17 18:30 UTC.
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Discography

Single

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1917 Everybody’s Jazzin’ It / Lily of the Valley Arthur F. Collins & Byron G. Harlan 1
1917 I Wasn’t Scared, but I Just Thought I Had Better Go— / The Story Book Ball Arthur Collins / Collins & Harlan 1
1917 On the Rockin’ Rosa Lee / The Old Gray Mare Arthur F. Collins & Byron G. Harlan 1
1917 Prohibition Blues / The Cannibal King Arthur Francis Collins 1
1917 Rabbit Hash / Mammy Blossom’s Possum Party Billy Golden / Arthur F. Collins & Byron G. Harlan 1
1917 The Rag Time Volunteers Are Off to War / The Dark Town Strutters’ Ball Arthur Francis Collins 1
1917 Yaddie Kaddie Kiddie Kaddie Koo Arthur F. Collins & Byron G. Harlan 1
1918 Arthur Collins - Keep Jazzin’ It Ras / Collins & Harlan - Down in Jungle Land Arthur F. Collins & Byron G. Harlan 1
1918 It Makes No Difference Who’s Sweetie You Were, You’re My Sweet Sweetie Now / My Mind’s Made Up to Marry Caroline Arthur Francis Collins 1
1918 The classics for mine / Alimony blues Arthur Francis Collins 1
1918 When Uncle Joe Steps Into France / Cleopatra Arthur F. Collins & Byron G. Harlan 1

Unspecified type

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1900 Ma Tiger Lily Arthur Collins 1

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