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British Pop Star Donates Alamo Artifacts

DAVID GREENE, BYLINE: And our last word in Business today is, (singing) I can see it coming to the Alamo tonight.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Last week the owner of the largest private collection of artifacts from the Alamo turned them over in a ceremony at the site of the epic 1836 battle.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

JERRY PATTERSON: Give a huge, ruckus, boisterous welcome to our friend Mr. Phil Collins.

(APPLAUSE)

MONTAGNE: Explaining why we just heard David sing. That's the Texas land commissioner thanking the donor, Phil Collins - yes that Phil Collins.

GREENE: I can't believe this. The British pop star behind hits like "Susssudio" and "In The Air Tonight" is also, turns out, a major Alamo enthusiast.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

PHIL COLLINS: I've had a love affair with this place since I was about 5 years old. It was just something I used to go and play in the garden with my soldiers.

GREENE: He got hooked as a kid in the 1950s watching "Davy Crockett, King Of The Wild Frontier" on television. Crockett was among the 200 who defended the Alamo against 1,500 Mexican troops.

MONTAGNE: Collins even wrote a book about his fascination and then a Texas filmmaker made a documentary called "Phil Collins And The Wild Frontier."

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "PHIL COLLINS AND THE WILD FRONTIER")

COLLINS: It's the real stuff that, you know, someone touched this. This was actually there, and that's what thrills me.

GREENE: In total, Collins has collected more than 200 Alamo items, including a rifle used by Davy Crockett himself.

MONTAGNE: So many items that an entire new building is being put up at the Alamo to house his collection.

GREENE: Big collection, whole new building at the Alamo, just take a look at Phil now.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "AGAINST ALL ODDS, TAKE A LOOK AT ME NOW")

COLLINS: (Singing) So take a look at me now.

GREENE: That's the Business News on MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene.

MONTAGNE: And I'm Renee Montagne. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.