Tommy Collins (singer)

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Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins.png
Tommy Collins in 1966
Background information
Birth nameLeonard Raymond Sipes
Also known asTommy Collins
Born(1930-09-28)September 28, 1930
Bethany, Oklahoma, U.S.
DiedMarch 14, 2000(2000-03-14) (aged 69)
Ashland City, Tennessee, U.S.
Genres Country, Bakersfield sound
Occupation(s)Singer-songwriter, musician
Years active1950s 2000
Labels Capitol, Columbia

Leonard Raymond Sipes (September 28, 1930 – March 14, 2000), better known as Tommy Collins, was an American country music singer and songwriter.


Active primarily during the 1950s through the 1970s, Collins was instrumental in helping create the Bakersfield sound of the country music genre. He enjoyed a string of hits during the mid-1950s including "It Tickles" and "Watcha Gonna Do Now". He also wrote several songs for other artists, including "If You Ain't Lovin' (You Ain't Livin')", which was a top 10 hit for Faron Young in 1954 and a No. 1 hit by George Strait in 1988.

After several years in the ministry, Collins returned to recording. In 1965, he had a comeback hit with "If You Can't Bite, Don't Growl". In the 1970s, he wrote several hits for Merle Haggard and The Strangers, including the No. 1 hits "Carolyn" and "The Roots of My Raising". In June 1980, Haggard recorded a biographical tribute to Collins called "Leonard".

Collins was the inspiration and character talked about in Craig Morgan's song, "I Wish I Could See Bakersfield".

Collins remained active in the songwriting business. He died March 14, 2000, at his home in Ashland City, Tennessee. [1]



YearAlbum US Country Label
1957Words and Music Country StyleCapitol
1958Light of the Lord
1959This Is Tommy Collins
1960Songs I Love to Sing
1966Let's Live a LittleTower
Tommy Collins on Tour (His Most Requested Songs)44Columbia
1980Country SouvenirGreenwood
Cowboys Get Lucky Some of the Time
1986New PatchesPassword


YearSingle US Country
1954"You Better Not Do That"2
"Whatcha Gonna Do Now"4
"It Tickles"5
"I Guess I'm Crazy"13
"You Oughta See Pickles Now"15
1964"I Can Do That" (with Wanda Collins)47
1966"If You Can't Bite, Don't Growl"A7
"Shindig in the Barn"47
1967"Don't Wipe the Tears That You Cry for Him (On My Good White Shirt)"62
"Big Dummy"52
1968"I Made the Prison Band"64

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  1. Country music writer Tommy Collins dies at 69 | News OK Retrieved 2018-04-21.
  2. Whitburn, Joel (2011). Top Pop Singles 1955–2010. Record Research, Inc. p. 192. ISBN   0-89820-188-8.