In 1982 Larry Sparks released Early And Essential. Here are the liner notes from the back of the album.
My first remembrance Larry Sparks was when he came here to record his first album Bluegrass Old and New OH-90004.
I had made my original contact with him through Fay McGinnis who at that time headed the Ralph Stanley fan club. l was a new record company and didn’t know many people personally in bluegrass, but Fay did and was helping me get started. She had known Larry fora longtime and had originally helped Larry get his job with the Stanley Brothers. I, of course had heard Larry’s recordings with Ralph Stanley and knew of his great talent. Anyhow. I was really impressed with how Larry and his band (Wendy Miller, Mike Lilly, and Neal Brackett). They must have really spent a lot of time preparing for that first album because they knew every song and the arrangements extremely well even to the point of knowing which instrument would back each verse and each chorus. Their harmony was also perfect. They cut 15 songs in about 6 hours. Most of them first takes.
The album that resulted from that first session was a great album, but because of my inexperience-the stereo was not mixed properly and I sent the master tape to a company who did not make the master stampers well so an an album with poor sound quality resulted. For this album, I decided to take some of these early masters and try to improve the sound quality, as well as include some other masters which I Purchased from the Jalyn Records and PineTree Records that Larry recorded for singles but which (these takes) were never available before on LP.
Since I feel Larry’s early years as a bluegrass performer produced some of his best material on record, I hope you will agree that even though these cuts were early, they are definitely essential.
I hope you can locate one of these for your collection.