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British music historian and author
Born (31 August 1949 1949-08-31) (age 73) Nationality British Alma mater
University of Kent Occupation(s) Music historian, author
Colin Escott (born 31 August 1949) is a British music historian and author specializing in early U.S.
rock and roll and
country music. His works include a biography of
Hank Williams, histories of
Sun Records and
The Grand Ole Opry,
liner notes for more than 500 albums and compilations, and major contributions to stage and television productions. Honors include multiple
Grammy Awards and a
Tony Award nomination.
His early career included stints in operations for
Island Records and
Polygram Records in the 1970s,
followed by independent work for
RCA, and many independent companies, including
He also wrote music history pieces for various music industry publications including 
, Record Mirror
, and Goldmine Record Hunter.
Described as "the foremost authority on
in 1992 he and Martin Hawkins published  Good Rockin’ Tonight: Sun Records and the Birth of Rock ‘n’ Roll, the first in-depth account of the label's history. His 1994 book Hank Williams: The Biography was adapted into the 2015 movie
. The multi-CD box set, I Saw the Light
, won a 1998 Grammy, and another of his productions, The Complete Hank Williams Hank Williams:
, won a 2014 Grammy. The Garden Spot Programs, 1950
In 1999 he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the
Association for Recorded Sound Collections.
In 2011 he was recognized with the Charlie Lamb Award for Excellence in Country Music Journalism. 
Escott co-wrote the 2010 musical theater production
, which received three Tony nominations, Million Dollar Quartet
and in 2020 wrote a sequel,  Million Dollar Quartet Christmas. He was also part of the writing/producing team adapting the original show for CMT/Viacom for broadcast in 2017.
In 2022 he was tapped as a writer for the "audio adventure" podcast series
Tennessee Music Pathways.
That same year, he and co-writer
 Peter Guralnick released "an epic hardcover book", The Birth of Rock 'n' Roll: The Illustrated Story of Sun Records and the 70 Recordings That Changed the World, in conjunction with the film
Middle Tennessee State University's Center for Popular Music houses the Colin Escott Collection of historical documents and photographs acquired in 2019.
Let Freedom Sing: Music That Inspired the Civil Rights Movement (2009) Writer, Only New Orleans (2015)
Lost Highway: The Story of Country Music (BBC, 2003) Executive producer,
Hank Williams: Honky Tonk Blues (PBS,
American Masters, 2004)
 Writer, producer,
Sun Records CMT, 2017)
(PBS, 2019) Country Music
Articles and essays
Selected works from books and major music industry publications:
"Memphis Blues: Sun Rise".
Record Mirror. November 13, 1971 "
Carl Perkins: 'Blue Suede Shoes'".
, 1981 The History of Rock "
Bill Justis: Raunchy by Choice". Goldmine. June 15, 1990 "
Bill Haley: Indisputably the First". Goldmine. April 19, 1991 "
Hi Records: That Memphis Beat". Record Hunter. July 1991 "
B.B. King: The Fortunate Son". Goldmine. April 29, 1994 "
Tim Hardin: Poet of the Interior". Goldmine. June 24, 1994 "
Ian and Sylvia: Northern Journey". Goldmine. July 8, 1994 "
The Big Bopper (J.P. Richardson)", "
Floyd Cramer", "
Johnny Horton", "
Billy Walker". The Encyclopedia of Country Music. 1997 "Come On, Let's Go!: Elvis on the Hayride".
Mojo. December 2004 "B. B. King: A Golden Anniversary". The B. B. King Reader . Hal Leonard Corporation. 2005. pp. 9–14.
Selected production credits
Producer credits on major LP and CD releases:
Elvis Presley: The Definitive Collection Sony BMG, 2006)
The Ike & Tina Turner Story: 1960–1975 Time/Life, 2007)
(Time/Life, 2009) Kenny Rogers: The Greatest Duets
(Time/Life, 2012) Waylon Jennings:
Goin' Down Rockin': The Last Recordings
(Time/Life, 2012) George Jones: Heartaches and Hangovers
George Jones: The Great Lost Hits (Time/Life, 2012)
Dim Lights, Thick Smoke and Hillbilly Music: Volumes 1-10 (Bear Family, 2011-2013)
(Bear Family, 2013 reissue) The Everly Brothers:
Songs Our Daddy Taught Us
The Sun Rock Box, The Sun Blues Box, The Sun Country Box (Bear Family, 2013)
(Ace, Time/Life, 2014) Jerry Lee Lewis: The Knox Phillips Sessions
Truckers, Kickers, Cowboy Angels: The Blissed-Out Birth of Country Rock, Volumes 1-5 (Bear Family, 2014-2015)
(Bear Family, 2020) Big Joe Turner: The Complete Boss of the Blues
Selected liner notes
Let's Stay Together Hi Records, 2003 reissue)
Tiny Tim: Tiptoe Through the Tulips: Resurrection (Bear Family, 1988)
(RCA, 1990) Elvis Presley: The Million Dollar Quartet
Harry Belafonte: My Greatest Songs (RCA, 1992)
(Bear Family reissue, 1993) Gordon Lightfoot:
(RCA, 1996) Skeeter Davis
(RCA, 2001) Lena Horne
The Very Best of
(Sanctuary, 2002) the Searchers
(Universal, 2003) Sammy Davis, Jr.: My Greatest Songs
The Millennium Collection: The Best of
(Universal, 2004) Jimmy Cliff
This Is Reggae Music: The Golden Era 1960-1975 Trojan Records, 2004)
Drama Desk Award
 Nominated work
Best Blues Album - Historical/Reissue
When the Sun Goes Down - The Secret History of Rock & Roll
Best Blues Album - Liner Notes
B.B. King: The Vintage Years
 Nominated work
Liner Notes of the Year
Ralph Stanley: A Mother's Prayer Won
Escott was born in
Kent, England, on 31 August 1949, the son of Lenny, an optician, and Betty Escott. He graduated in 1971 from the
University of Kent with a B.A. degree.
He has lived in Nashville and Toronto.
Encyclopedia.com . Retrieved . December 9, 2022
"The Colin Escott Collection - Biographical Sketch" (PDF). Mtsu.edu. 2019 . Retrieved . December 20, 2022
"Colin Escott Library".
Rock's Backpages . Retrieved . December 9, 2022
Simon & Schuster . Retrieved . December 11, 2022
Colin Escott at
"ARSC Awards for Lifetime Achievement & Distinguished Service to Historical Recordings". Association for Recorded Sound Collections . Retrieved . December 20, 2022
"Awards". International Country Music Conference . Retrieved . December 21, 2022
"Who's Nominated?". Tony Awards. IBM Corp . Retrieved . December 9, 2022
^ Gans, Andrew.
"Foster and Stanley Will Join Original Chicago Quartet for Broadway's Million Dollar Quartet" Playbill.com, January 21, 2010
^ Fick, David.
". Musical Cyberspace, April 11, 2010 Million Dollar Quartet Opens Tonight"
"Tennessee Tourism Teams Up with Armchair Productions for "Tennessee Music Pathways" Podcast". Nashville Music City. August 22, 2022 . Retrieved . December 20, 2022
"Sun Records at 70 celebrates 'ELVIS'. " Niagara Frontier Publications. June 10, 2022 . Retrieved . December 22, 2022
^ Won 1994
Ralph J. Gleason Book Award third prize.
^ Nominated for 1997 Ralph J. Gleason Award.
"Creative Team". Million Dollar Quartet Christmas . Retrieved . December 14, 2022
"Hank Williams ~ About Hank Williams | American Masters | PBS".
. 10 August 2005 PBS . Retrieved . December 23, 2022
Petski, Denise (2016-03-14).
"Chad Michael Murray To Star in CMT's 'Million Dollar Quartet'. Deadline " . Retrieved . 2017-02-22
"2003 Living Blues Awards". Living Blues . Retrieved . December 22, 2022
"Award Recipient - Colin Escott". International Bluegrass Music Association . Retrieved . December 22, 2022