Ongoing History Daily: Did this kid invent punk rock in 1958?

In 1958. Larry Collins was a 13-year-old hillbilly originally from Oklahoma who had moved with his family to California. Together with his sister Lorrie, they started performing as The Collins Kids at various country music events.

That led to a record deal with Columbia Records who, because of the popularity of Elvis Presley, wanted them to record more rockin’ tunes. Those who saw Larry play were really impressed with his all-over-the-place energy.

It was among these songs we find a radically different song called “Whistle Bait.” Although the song wasn’t a hit, it certainly caught the ear of some soon-to-be-influential California guitar pioneers like Dick Dale. He took some of what little Larry was doing and adopted it as his own, creating the foundations of what became known surf music. And surf music could be considered an early ancestor of punk rock.

If you want to go down a rabbit hole, look up Larry Collins and “Whistle Bait” and see what you think.

Friday’s post was on The Devil’s Interval. Beware.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.