Collin Raye

PHOTO BY Lindsey Merrill
PHOTO BY Lindsey Merrill

Collin Raye

Hometown country music star, Collin Raye, has had 24 top ten records, 16 number one hits and is a 10-time CMA and ACM nominee. Getting his start in Texarkana, he has enjoyed a successful career and continues to release incredible music. His newest album, SCARS, is now available.

What is your favorite Texarkana memory?

Probably our mom sitting in my brother’s room with us, with our guitars out singing harmony. Didn’t truly appreciate it at the time, but that’s how I learned to sing harmony.  

Where was your favorite place to eat in Texarkana? Any interesting story to tell about that place? 

Honestly, it would have to be Guy’s Orange. As a kid, I was all about their “Texas Burger.” Best burger ever! 

Were you a Hawk, Leopard, Razorback or Tiger? Do you have a rivalry story to share? 

I was a Tiger, Texas High School. I recall a few older friends I had, who were really good football players but were kind of tired of football already and didn’t want to play anymore. They would make the team long enough to play in the Arkansas High game, play their heart out to win that one, then quit. Ha!   

How do you describe Texarkana to your friends? 

A good place to grow up. It was a small town, but big enough to “spread your wings” a little. 

Who is someone from Texarkana who impacted your life and why?

Several people, but three in particular: Randy Altenbaumer, Jim Covert and Joe Dale Cleghorn. They were really good musicians that my brother Scotty and I got to play with early on. Learned a lot from them and eventually traveled across the country with them playing music. Jim and Joe Dale spent several years with us in The Wray Brothers Band. We were a really, really good band. My first taste of success. Those boys helped me grow up and always had my back. We saw a lot of good times together. 

What do you think makes Texarkana famous?

When I was a kid, it was a bit infamous because of the serial murders that had happened many years before that were brought to the silver screen in the Charles B. Pierce film “The Town that Dreaded Sundown.”  More recently, however, I prefer to think of Texarkana’s inclusion in the Burt Reynolds classic, “Smokey and The Bandit,” as well as 90s country music. Both myself and Tracy Lawrence got our musical starts in Texarkana, and we’re both proud of that. It was a cool musical scene there when we were growing up. 

What is your nickname for Texarkana?

T- Town! 

What do you miss about Texarkana?

Me being young… Ha! 

What words do you live by?    

Be thankful to God in everything, even when things aren’t going great.

Anything we haven’t asked about that you would like to share?    

Brand new album out called SCARS. Coolest, most eclectic record I’ve ever done. My brother was heavily involved in it.
He wrote, sang and played on it. A truly full circle moment for us. We started out making music together, and here we are again, all these years later. I’m very proud of this album. I hope it will bring some joy, fun and some inspiration to anyone who hears it. 

PHOTO BY Lindsey Merrill

TXK Roots is Texarkana Monthly’s forum to highlight and honor Texarkana natives who have accomplished big things in the world. These folks may have relocated, but they took the values, education, work ethic and creativity instilled in them by growing up in this unique border city and used these qualities to blaze extraordinary trails. We asked them to share their thoughts about growing up here. No matter how far from Texarkana they may find themselves, we will always consider them our neighbors and we are proud to claim them as forever members of our extended Texarkana community. After all, “everyone is famous in their hometown!”


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