Nacogdoches Native and Country Music Chart Topper
By Peggy Arriola Jasso and Jan Dobbs Barton
Jim Collins is the newest member of the NHS Alumni
In the early 1970’s when Jim Collins attended
Nacogdoches High School, he never imagined that
some thirty years later he would be an award winning
country music songwriter.
Collins credits his mom, Glenda, with planting the
music seed in his heart that grew into a song. He
remembers being about three years old when his mom
would buy records and teach him the words to the
Naturally when company came, Jim
performed by singing the songs she taught him.
During his early school years and into high school, Collins followed his love of music by singing in the
junior high and high school choirs.
“I owe a lot to NHS and teachers like Mrs. Barbara Reid who taught choir,” Collins said. She helped me
find my voice, and I will always be grateful. Sometimes I don't think a teacher realizes the effect they
have on a child. She was always very positive and made music fun for me.”
In 1971, Collins joined with friends Monte Moses, Dickey Johnson, Don Upton, and Ronnie Peacock in
a band called Odessa. The band developed a large following of SFA sorority and fraternity students
and played regularly at local teen club The Party Center. After high school, Odessa broke up and the
guys went their separate ways.
Today the former members of Odessa are all successful in their diverse chosen careers in education,
business and finance, and the ministry.
“I am very proud to have had the honor of knowing and playing with these musicians, in many ways
they were the brothers I never had,” Johnson said.
Collins continued playing in bands until a Houston producer heard him and hired him to play bass guitar
and sing background in his studio.
“That’s when I first discovered country music. I loved the stories the songs told, the melodies, and the
discipline it took to play it. I started writing about that time,” Collins