• Died:

    August 12, 2002

Not to be confused with a few other people named Bill Collins in the music business, this manager and songwriter's story is part of the legacy of the British rock band Badfinger. In the summer of 1966, he took over a combo which at that point was calling itself the Iveys. Among other chores, this group worked as a backing band for the pop vocalist David Garrick. The forward-thinking Collins encouraged the band to get into writing its own material, a form of advice that, once followed, kicks many a career into a high gear, while also resulting in mountains of ghastly songs. Since Ray Davies of the Kinks produced some of the early sessions involving original material by members of the Iveys, it can be assumed these efforts were at least reasonably good.

Collins got the band its contract with the ill-fated Apple Records and began to get co-writing credits on some of the material done under the new and improved name of Badfinger. His most famous credit is for "Without You," but there is a continuing debate among this band's scholars over whether Collins had anything to do with creating this song at all. Some sort of decision was made to share songwriting royalties for this song among all four members of the group and the manager -- maybe so none of them would think the song's title was personally directed. The majority of the more than 100 recordings of this song just credit Tom Evans and Pete Ham as the songwriters. The performing rights society ASCAP, however, announced a total of five names as songwriters at an important ceremony, annoying relatives of Evans and positively roasting those of Ham. A heart attack took Collins away in 2002, softening attitudes about this rock businessman who was often blamed for legal and financial doo-doo that is also part of the Badfinger story. In a Collins obituary, group member Mike Gibbons said, "Collins was our mentor and direction. Without him, Badfinger would have never been known as they are today. He will be sadly missed and never forgotten." ~ Eugene Chadbourne, Rovi

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