Earl Collins

I was lucky as a child to have a guitar teacher who learned from Bess Lomax Hawes.  Mary Ellen, my teacher and still my mother's neighbor, knew and played with the best of the old-time musicians -- Doc Watson, Clarence Ashley, and Earl Collins come to mind.  I know she knew Doc because she gave me her framed drawing of him.  Clarence because the he played with Doc and she drew him, too.  Earl actually came to her home and I got to jam as a beginner on banjo.  He was warm and supportive and I haven't forgotten.

Mary Ellen Clark brought me to the Topanga Canyon Fiddle Contest, too, where she served on their board literally for decades.  Earl won many of these competitions.  Originally from Missouri, he ended up in Southern California and brought the good mid-western and Ozark music that picks up our ears and gets our toes tapping.

Though he knew hundreds of tunes, here are a few he's especially known for (and I've got lots more of his yet to learn).  Tabs are posted on this site.

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