Larry Sparks Trivia: September 9, 2022

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Let’s do a trivia question about bluegrass singer, guitarist and band leader Larry Sparks. Sometimes known as “Count Sparkula” because of his Dracula-like hairdo, and sometimes “Sparkomatic” for his powerful singing and guitar stylings.

Sparky has been named IBMA Male Vocalist of the Year twice. He also has won IBMA’s Album of the Year and Recorded Event of the Year awards. Next year – 2023 – will mark his SIXTIETH year in bluegrass music. He started in small local southern Ohio bluegrass bands while in 1963.

I reviewed Larry’s latest CD of gospel music for IBMA earlier this year.


What marked Larry’s entrée into the top level of bluegrass music?

  1. Releasing a self-produced LP of Hank Williams songs done bluegrass style in 1977.
  2. The first in bluegrass to have his hair style match his guitar’s pickguard shape/color.
  3. The first bluegrass band to include the word “Lonesome” in the band name – The Lonesome Ramblers.
  4. He became Ralph Stanley’s first lead singer after brother Carter Stanley died in 1966 – joining Ralph’s Clinch Mt. Boys 1967 to 1969.
  5. Larry was the first widely known bluegrass “impersonator” of other famous singers and guitar players, much like Del Reeves did in country music.

ANSWER is “#4”

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