1930 - 2000
Born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, September 28, 1930, Leonard Raymond Sipes began his recording career in 1953 when he signed to Capitol Records using the name Tommy Collins. Several hits followed including "You Better Not Do That" in 1954. All in all, he had 5 top 10 country hits and became well respected as a songwriter, having penned tunes recorded by Faron Young, George Strait, Charley Pride and Mel Tillis to name a few.
He also worked with and supported the talents of longtime friend Merle Haggard who went on to write the 1981 song "Leonard" which is about Tommy.
He was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame September, 1999.
Outside of Country Music, Tommy tried his hand at being a Southern Baptist Pastor for about 5 years, and even spent a short time as a chemist.
Having suffered from emphysema for some time, Tommy passed away March 14, 2000.
He was 69.
© 2000 Eddie Bear Productions