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Larry Sparks

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Larry Sparks was born and raised in Lebanon, Ohio, born September 15, 1947. He is a Bluegrass singer and guitarist. He was the winner of the 2004 and 2005 International Bluegrass Music Association Male Vocalist of the Year Award and worked as a rhythm guitarist for Ralph Stanley many, many years ago. He eventually started doing his own solo work and has made dozens of great albums. His voice is authentic and immediately recognizable. Some of his best work has been in the bluegrass-gospel field… His family originated from Jackson County, Kentucky in the Appalachians. In his childhood, he used to listen to the Grand Ole Opry and to radio station WCKY. He learned to play the guitar when he was quite young influenced by artists such as Wayne Raney, Stanley Brothers, Tommy Sutton and Paul “Moon” Mullins. Although he had played in country music and rock bands while he was in high school, his bluegrass career began when he joined the Stanley Brothers in 1964. At that time he was playing in a local band in Middletown, Ohio: “Irvin MackIntosh and His Band” and a friend of him, banjo player Wilbur Hall, was acquainted with Moon Mullins - who had just arrived to Middletown - and Hall told Mullins about Sparks. Mullins, who knew the Stanley Brothers, recommended Sparks to them and he was hired after an audition. An extensive tour followed and he recorded for the first time in 1965 for a small label in Dayton, Ohio. Sparks, left the Stanley Brothers in October 1966 to perform with Roy Lee Centers’ band in Dayton.

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