He was a close friend of Jelly Roll, but the two had a falling out when Collins claimed that Morton stole the song “Fish Tail Blues” from him. In 1930 Collins moved to New York to play in Luis Russell’s Orchestra, but only stayed with the band for 6 months, before returning to Chicago for a year and then moving back to New Orleans for a brief while, then once again returning to Chicago.
He played trumpet on dozens of Blues records, backing up singers like Victoria Spivey, Lil Johnson and Chippie Hill. During the Dixieland revival of the 1940s, Collins recorded and toured with Mezz Mezzrow.
|Jones & Collins Astoria Hot Eight|
|Oh, Didn’t He Ramble, The Life Story of Lee Collins, edited by Frank J. Gillis and John W. Miner, University Of Illinois Press, 1974|