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Newton Collier

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Information about Newton Collier

Profile image of Newton Collier

Profession

Category:
MusicMakers
Occupation(s):
R & B Trumpet Player
R & B Trombone Player

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue, Green
Favorite Food:
Grits
Favorite Time of Year:
All Seasons
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Memphis, Tennessee
Favorite Quote:
I Take What I Want, And I'm A Bad Boy. I Go Get It.

Birthplace

Born:
7/23/1945
Birth Location:
Macon, Georgia

Profession

Category:
MusicMakers
Occupation(s):
R & B Trumpet Player
R & B Trombone Player

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue, Green
Favorite Food:
Grits
Favorite Time of Year:
All Seasons
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Memphis, Tennessee
Favorite Quote:
I Take What I Want, And I'm A Bad Boy. I Go Get It.

Birthplace

Born:
7/23/1945
Birth Location:
Macon
See how Newton Collier is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Newton Collier was born on July 23, 1945 in Macon, Georgia. His parents, Lucile Birdsong and Newton Collier, led a group called the Sweethearts of Rhythm. With his parents' example to guide him, Collier began playing piano at age six and the trumpet at ten. He started playing professionally with the Pinetoppers, the original band backing Otis Redding. Soon after graduating from Ballard Hudson High School in 1963, he joined Sam and Dave, who are best known for their 1967 Grammy award-winning song "Soul Man."

Sam and Dave's band broke up in 1970 after an international tour. The horn section formed a new band called LTD and moved to Boston. Collier worked on a freelance basis and married his sweetheart, Beverly Nelson. Their daughter, Charity, was born in 1973. Then, one night in 1976, tragedy struck. Collier was going home from an engagement when an unknown assailant shot him in the face. After three years of reconstructive surgery and recovery, Collier could speak well enough to be understood-but he could not withstand the pressure required to play the trumpet or trombone.

After the accident, Collier helped publish Progressive Platter Music Review. Having studied electronics at Boston's Wentworth Institute, he found work as an electronic technician-first at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1970 to 1976, then at Wells Fargo from 1976 to 1982. From 1979 to 1988, he worked in the fledgling computer industry at Honeywell Computers. In 1984, Collier learned of an instrument designed by John Steiner at M.I.T. called the E.V.I., Electronic Valve Instrument. This windblown synthesizer, sounding like a trumpet but requiring far less air, enabled Collier to play in Boston-area cafes and small clubs.

In 1988, Collier moved back to Macon and opened Collier's Records and Tapes, specializing in rare and collectible albums. Unfortunately, despite the store's magnificent collection, it did not turn a profit and closed in 1997. Collier now makes a living as a taxicab driver.

Bibliography:
Who's Who in Black Music, 1984. p. 128.

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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Newton Collier's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Newton Collier lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Newton Collier describes his parents' backgrounds
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Newton Collier talks about his childhood interest in music
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Newton Collier describes his grandmothers
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Newton Collier describes his relationship with his mother
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Newton Collier talks about his step-father and his siblings
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Newton Collier describes growing up in Macon, Georgia
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Newton Collier describes having spinal meningitis as a small child
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Newton Collier describes his childhood personality
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Newton Collier talks about being introduced to music as a child
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Newton Collier recalls his favorite teachers
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Newton Collier remembers how spinal meningitis affected his childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Newton Collier talks about his music mentor, Robert Scott
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Newton Collier describes learning to play the trumpet
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Newton Collier recalls playing his first solo at the Two Spot Club as a teenager
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Newton Collier talks about music mentor and bandleader Gladys Williams
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Newton Collier describes the sights, sounds, and smells of Macon, Georgia
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Newton Collier recalls meeting Sammy Davis, Jr.
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Newton Collier shares his earliest memories of Otis Redding
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Newton Collier talks about deciding to tour with Otis Redding
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Newton Collier recalls joining Leroy Lloyd and the Swinging Dukes
  • Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Newton Collier remembers meeting Maceo Parker
  • Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Newton Collier talks about club owner, Clint Brantley, and his acts James Brown and Little Richard
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Newton Collier recalls avoiding trouble while spending time at Clint Brantley's club
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Newton Collier talks about how shrewdly Clint Brantley handled his club promotion business, pt.1
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Newton Collier talks about how shrewdly Clint Brantley handled his club promotion business, pt.2
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Newton Collier talks about playing trumpet for Sam and Dave and the emergence of Stax records
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Newton Collier describes life on tour with Sam and Dave in the volatile 1960s
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Newton Collier talks about producing and arranging songs for Sam and Dave
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Newton Collier recalls learning about Otis Redding's death
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Newton Collier describes the impact of Otis Redding's death on him
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Newton Collier talks about moving to Boston, Massachusetts in 1969 and getting married
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Newton Collier shares memories of the Doo Wop musicians in his neighborhood
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Newton Collier talks about his relationship with Otis Redding
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Newton Collier talks about returning to the music business
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Newton Collier talks about forming the band LTD featuring Jeffrey Osborne
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Newton Collier talks about promoting the band LTD
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Newton Collier talks about being hired at Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Newton Collier describes working at MIT and NASA
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Newton Collier describes astronaut Ronald McNair
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Newton Collier describes being shot in 1976
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Newton Collier talks about his recovery from a facial gunshot wound
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Newton Collier talks about opening his record store Collier's Corner
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Newton Collier talks about Ronald McNair's death in 1986
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Newton Collier talks about his mother's later years and death
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Newton Collier talks about his father's death
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Newton Collier describes discovering his Native American ancestry
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Newton Collier talks about becoming part of the Georgia Music Hall of Fame
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Newton Collier talks about the role of music for African American young people
  • Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Newton Collier reflects upon his legacy
  • Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Newton Collier describes the chittlin circuit
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Newton Collier talks about discrimination while touring in the South
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Newton Collier contrasts various musical styles and describes how he learned to write charts
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Newton Collier narrates his photographs