The New Christy Minstrels presented by the Heartland Concert Association
NEW CHRISTY MINSTRELS
Led by the original founder, Randy Sparks, and including several of the long standing members of the group, The New Christy Minstrels keep going strong and continue to tour extensively.
The New Christy Minstrels, a large-ensemble folk music group, was founded by Randy Sparks in 1961. They were a prominent figure in the early 1960’s U.S. folk revival and they recorded 20 albums and had numerous hits over the years. Their 1962 debut album Presenting the New Christy Minstrels won a Grammy Award and sat in the Billboard charts for 2 years!
The group sold millions of records and were in high demand at concerts and on television shows. They also launched the musical careers of several musicians, including Kenny Rogers, Gene Clark, Kim Carnes and Barry McGuire. Just over 300 singers have been members of the New Christy Minstrels over the years. The original group consisted of 14 singers, which later dropped to 10, and now, 56 years later, the current group totals 7 singers.
When Randy Sparks invented the New Christy Minstrels in 1961 he envisioned a group that would be as entertaining as The Kingston Trio, but have the choral power of The Norman Luboff Choir. He asked himself if he could achieve just the right combination of those two diverse elements in a new act? It took a while to get the sound he wanted but his invention proved to be a roaring success.