Meet Bill Collings, the man behind Collings Guitars and one of the world's most respected names in guitar making.
Bill Collings moved from Ohio to Houston, Texas in the mid-1970s. More interested in guitars and engineering than in medical school, he took a job at a machine shop and began building guitars on his kitchen table with just a few hand tools. Coming from a family of engineers, Bill’s experience as a craftsman and his natural curiosity equipped him to experiment and quickly improve his craft. Before long his instruments were in the hands of local talents Rick Gordon and Lyle Lovett, which led more Texas players to seek out Bill for custom guitars. After building about fifty guitars and a few banjos in Houston, he headed west to pursue lutherie in southern California. Along the way, he befriended Austin luthiers Tom Ellis and Mike Stevens. Having found like-minded instrument makers, Bill decided to stay and share space in
Tom’s shop. By the mid-1980s, Bill was building flattop and archtop acoustic guitars in his own small shop. His reputation for outstanding quality and meticulous attention to detail quickly spread. In 1989, he rented a 1,000-square-foot space and hired two helpers. The rest is beautiful sounding history.