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Acuff Smokey Mountain Boys' member dies

Friday, January 13, 2012 – Charlie Collins, one of the few surviving members of Roy Acuff's Smokey Mountain Boys, passed away after suffering a massive stroke, at the age of 78.

Collins, born in 1933 in a coal mining family near Caryville, Tenn., was fiddling in LaFollette music contests before he was 10 years old. After a stint in the Army, Collins joined the Pinnacle Mountain Boys around 1960 as they rode Pet Milk's national talent competition all the way to the Grand Ole Opry.

In 1966, he moved to Nashville to join Acuff's band, The Smoky Mountain Boys. Since Acuff's death in 1992, Collins has remained a weekly performer on the Opry,and has recorded with Norman Blake, Mark O'Conner, Brother Oswald, Jim and Jesse, Sam Bush.

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