Influential Funk guitarist Phelps “Catfish” Collins dead at 66

(–Influential funk guitarist Phelps “Catfish” Collins (1944-2010) succumbed to cancer Aug. 6 at the age of 66. Collins, along with younger brother and legendary bass player Bootsy, was an architect of funk as a member of James Brown’s J.B.’s, Parliament/Funkadelic and Bootsy’s Rubber Band. He was responsible for some of the funkiest rhythm guitar riffs ever laid down.

Born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, Catfish Collins started playing guitar at an early age and influenced his younger brother Bootsy who learned to play bass. In 1968, the Collins brothers formed a group called The Pacemakers and did session work at King Records, the original label of the late, great James Brown, who liked their innovative funk sound that emphasized the bass and guitar being out front instead of in the background. He later hired the Pacemakers to replace Brown’s longtime band members who had walked out because of money disputes. The band became known as the J.B.’s and collaborated with Brown on enduring funk classics “Get Up (I Feel Like Being A) Sex Machine”, “Super Bad”, “Soul Power” and “Talking Loud And Saying Nothing.”

By 1971, Catfish Collins and the rest of the J.B.’s had quit James Brown and formed the House Guests, and then joined Funkadelic after meeting George Clinton, who wanted to incorporate that James Brown groove. They contributed to the groundbreaking Funkadelic album “America Eats Its Young”, the beginning of a long run of memorable funk jams with Parliament/Funkadelic and Bootsy’s Rubber Band. Often cited is Catfish Collin’s outstanding rhythm guitar licks on the Parliament hit “Flashlight.”

–Skip Kelley, Washington D.C.


I know a lot of you are busy doing yo thang,
But if you could only help me spread the good news about one of the greatest people of all times. I want everybody to know not only what the Catfish meant to me, but what he did in the music field that would ordinarily go unnoticed. Help me to get the Catfish his props by joining us if your schedule allows or by sending us a Video to honor the Catfish for a job well done.
The video could be 3 to 5 minutes saying something about him, his contribution to music, the funk and the history of it all that he helped to change.
He was street all the way and he saw a chance to help me his brother get off the streets so he did all that he could to push me up and out of the ditches so I could get out and help others, even if it meant he wouldn’t make it with me. That is a true blood brother.
Join us on Sept. 4 and if you can’t come in the flesh the VIDEO would be the next best thing.
Please send all video’s to: Atten: Patti Willis 817 Barg Salt Run Rd. Cincinnati Ohio 45244.
If you can send them hi-quality by email you can do that as well, send them to this email address:
We need these Video’s by: end of 3nd week in Aug. so we would have time to add them all in the program, they will start out the show. For more details call: Patti at 513-236-2724 cell.
Tom Joyner, we expect you to be here in the flesh with the Funk Mob to MC and hang out with Funk University, Faith Daniels from Mojo, Lincoln Ware from the Buzz and all the other surprise guest that are going to come to honor the greatest Brother and Goodtarist in the world. “Catfish Collins”
Thanks for your consideration and support.


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