For many years I’ve tried to find the identity of singer Ann Collin. The woman who sang “His Name Was King” heard in Quentin Tarantino’s “Django Unchained” but actually part of the soundtrack for the movie of the same name “His Name was King” (1971) starring Richard Harrison and Klaus Kinski. Every thing I tried hit a dead end. Was she British, Canadian or American? With such a common name the task became almost impossible. What was her real name? Was it Collin or was that a stage name or a married name? Mike Hauss contacted me on February 16th inquiring if I had any information on her. I said no just a list of films that either composer the music or that she sang songs in.
Piquing my interest once again I started to search once again and found from Discogs site that she also went by Ann Reid Collin. So I tried her full name and then Ann Reid. Bingo! The name Ann Reid directed me on Google to an obituary of an Ann Reid from 2016.
In reading the obit it told me everything I needed to know. I sent it to Mike and he located an article mentioning her in the production of HAIR which was mentioned in the obit. He also found her then husbands Facebook page and he mentioned her passing and had a short video of her which sealed the deal.
This is what we were able to put together: Ann Reid was born in Buffalo, New York on February 9,1943 to Richard and Maribell Scholl Reid. Ann would graduate from Immaculata Academy in Hamburg, New York in 1960. After graduation she headed for SUNY Fredonia to pursue her love for music. She then married Richard Oliver Collin in 1962 and she transferred to Boston University and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in music. She followed Richard to Washington D.C. and began a career in music and theater. She appeared in “Funny Girl” with Carol Lawrence where she met singer Robert Flack which resulted in a collaboration on a few songs a few years later.
Richard and Ann and their son Oliver who was born in 1963 then moved to Rome, Italy. Ann was one of the lead singers in the RAI production of HAIR, playing Sheila and singing “Good Morning Star Shine”. She then began to appear in some films as she worked at the Dino De Laurentis Studio with actors such as Rod Steiger, Christopher Plummer and Orson Welles. Spaghetti westerns were popular and she had prominent roles in several working with Jack Palance and Bud Spencer. Her musical career continued to develop with singing and composing jobs in Saudi Arabia and in those days Communist Poland.
She eventually pursued a teaching career, first at Millikan University in Decatur, Illinois and in 1996 Genesee Community College. She loved teaching and she was rewarded for her devotion with the Chancellors Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activity in 2004. In 2011 she was pleased to present her original oratory “AElinor” at Genesee and then retired in 2013 while continuing to compose the rest of her life.
One of the great voices of the Spagetti westerns was silenced when Ann Reid Collin died in Buffalo, New York on October 20, 2016 of leukemia. She will not be forgotten.) mother of engineer Oliver Richard Collin [1963- ].
Ringo and His Golden Pistol – 1966 [sings: "Band of Gold"]
Django Kill... If You Live, Shoot! – 1967 [sings: “My Town”]
Shoot the Living and Pray for the Dead* – 1971 [sings: “That Man”, “I’m Not Your
His Name Was King* – 1971 [sings: “His Name Was King”]
Requiem for a Bounty Hunter – 1971 [sings: “A Man is Made of Love”]
Deaf Smith & Johnny Ears* – 1972 [sings: “The Ballad of Deaf and Ears”, “Even if
You’re Not the First One”]
Fast-Hand is Still My Name – 1973 [sings: “That Man”]
Excelent article! I like Ann Collin's songs very much specially in "Django Kill", "Fast-Hand" and "Shoot the living...", which are three of my favourite spaghetti westerns.ReplyDelete
However, the song of the film "Shoot the living and pray for the dead" é named "Who is that man?" and not "That Man."
Thank you for this interesting and informative article. Watching the William Berger special on the podcast.ReplyDelete
The singer sounds more like Shawn Robinson, who sang on some of Piero Piccioni scores.ReplyDelete
Shawn was a soul singer that performed with Piero. All the songs I've listed have been credited to Ann Collin and listed on the recordings.ReplyDelete