Randy Sparks Dies: New Christy Minstrels Founder & TV Star Was 90

THE BIG NIGHT, Randy Sparks, 1960
Everett Collection
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Grammy-winner and singer-songwriter Randy Sparks, who founded the folk music ensemble New Christy Minstrels, died on February 11 at age 90. The musician in an assisted living facility in San Diego.

Sparks, renowned as an American musician and songwriter, made significant contributions to the revival of folk music in the 1960s with the formation of New Christy Minstrels. This musical group, best known for its melodic harmonies and folk-pop sound, was formed in 1961, with Sparks leading the way. The New Christy Minstrels achieved remarkable success with hit songs, including “Today,” “Denver,” and “Green, Green,” which Sparks co-wrote with future “Eve of Destruction” vocalist Barry McGuire.

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