, the reigning International Bluegrass Music Association
's Male Vocalist of the Year, marked the March 1 release of his album 40
with a party and performance co-hosted by BMI Nashville and Rebel Records.
|BMI's Harry Warner, Rebel Records' Dave Freeman, Larry Sparks, BMI's Paul Corbin, producer Don Rigsby|
Named to commemorate Sparks' 40th year as a professional bluegrass performer, the 16-song package - produced by Don Rigsby -- pairs him with a glittering array of fellow country and bluegrass stars, including Vince Gill, Alison Krauss, Andy Griggs, Rhonda Vincent, Ricky Skaggs, Tom T. Hall, Dan Tyminski, Sharon & Cheryl White, Rebecca Lynn Howard, the Isaacs, the Marshall Family, Kevin Denney, Paul Williams, Jim Hurst, Kenny Smith, Tim Stafford, Don Rigsby, Chris Jones, Russell Moore, Ronnie Bowman and the legendary Ralph Stanley, who gave Sparks his start in the music business.
|Kevin Denney, Larry Sparks|
A native of Lebanon, Ohio, Sparks joined the Stanley brothers band, the Clinch Mountain Boys, in 1964, when he was 16 years old. Two years later, elder brother Carter Stanley died, and surviving brother Ralph asked Sparks to take his place as lead vocalist. In 1969, Sparks formed his own band, the Lonesome Ramblers, and has headlined the bluegrass circuit ever since. A BMI affiliate since 1973, he has recorded for Rebel Records since 1980.
|Sharon White, Pam Sparks|
|Tom T. Hall, Carl Jackson, Larry Sparks|
|Larry Sparks and the Lonesome Ramblers: Matthew Madden (acoustic bass), Scott Napier (mandolin), Joshua McMurray (banjo) and Michael Feagan (fiddle)|
Photos by Alan Mayor