Phelps "Catfish" Collins (October 17, 1943 - August 6, 2010) was an American rhythm guitarist known mostly for his work in the P-Funk collective. Although frequently overshadowed by his younger brother, Bootsy Collins, Catfish played on many important and influential records by Parliament, Funkadelic, and Bootsy's Rubber Band.
In 1968, the Collins brothers, along with Kash Waddy and Philippé Wynne, formed a group called The Pacemakers. Later the Pacemakers were hired by James Brown to accompany his vocals, at this they became known as The J.B.'s. Some of Brown's previous band members had walked out because of money disputes. During their tenure in the J.B.'s, they recorded such classics as "Super Bad", "Get Up (I Feel Like Being A) Sex Machine", "Soul Power" and "Give It Up or Turnit a Loose". By 1971, Collins and the rest of the J.B.'s had quit James Brown. The Collins brothers and Kash Waddy formed House Guests and shortly after joined Funkadelic and contributed to the Funkadelic album America Eats Its Young. Some of his most famous playing can be heard on the Parliament hit single "Flash Light". Four years later, Collins joined Bootsy's Rubber Band, which included Waddy, Joel "Razor Sharp" Johnson (keyboards), Gary "Muddbone" Cooper (vocals) and Robert "P-Nut" Johnson (vocals), along with The Horny Horns. Collins also played on albums by Freekbass and H-Bomb.
In 1990, he performed on Deee-Lite's "Groove Is in the Heart".
In 2007, he contributed guitar work to the Superbad movie soundtrack.
On his early work with James Brown and Funkadelic, Catfish played a Vox Ultrasonic guitar with built-in effects.
Collins received the nickname "Catfish" from his brother because he thought he looked like a fish. He died on August 6, 2010 in Cincinnati after a long battle with cancer. He is survived by two children. A memorial concert called "The Catfish Nation Celebration" was held in Covington, Kentucky at the Madison Theater and was attended by a number of musicians.
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