Gospel broadcasting lost a pioneering figure on November 12 with the passing of the Rev. Dr. Ollie Collins, Jr., known throughout the industry as “the man with the golden voice.” He died at the age of 81 at his home in Tupelo, Mississippi, after suffering a stroke the previous week.
As a vocalist, disc jockey, radio station operator and concert promoter, Collins made a significant mark in radio and TV on the West Coast and in the state of Mississippi. His long career also included a stint in the 1970s and 80s as the owner of Monique’s Gospel Records located on Western Avenue and Imperial Blvd. in Los Angeles.
Dr. Collins began singing professionally at nine-years-old performing at churches and special events. From 1958 to 1963, he was part of The Golden Echoes Gospel Singers before embarking on a solo career where released three albums – “The Man with the Golden Voice,” “Too Close” and “I’ve Come a Long Way.”
In the broadcasting field, Dr. Collins aired on KFOX, KBCA (KKGO), KMAX, KNAC, KGER, KORG and KTYM radio stations. Also, he appeared on KCOP-TV and Continental Cablevision in Southern California. Once he relocated to Mississippi, he produced and hosted a weekly faith-based program.
A celebration of the Rev. Dr. Collins’ life will take place on Sunday, November 28, at White Hill Missionary Baptist Church in Tupelo. His visitation will be held on Saturday, November 27 at Holland Funeral Directors Tupelo Chapel.
He is survived by his wife, Irma; children, Ollie III, Wade, Gromyko and Nakita Monique; and several relatives and friends. Condolences may be expressed at www.hollandfuneraldirectors.com.
Dr. Nawania Lyles contributed to this article.