The New Christy Minstrels, still under the direction of founder Randy Sparks, make a return to Livermore on July 25 with their Grammy Award-winning folk music. Their large-group vocals, lighthearted style and rich harmonies forged a fresh folk sound in the 1960s when their original hits, including “Green, Green” and “Today,” as well as covers such as “Sing in the Sunshine,” climbed up the charts. This will be The New Christy Minstrels’ sixth visit to the Bankhead Theater. Tickets range from $20 to $55 each for their single performance on Friday evening, July 26.
Sparks successfully created a unique sound and style in the 1960s when, not only was their large-group format unusual, their feel-good songs were seemingly at odds with the challenging and emotional anti-war era. The universal appeal of their songs, from originals such as “Saturday Night” to their hit version of Woodie Guthrie’s “This Land is Your Land,” made them instantly popular. Their debut album “Presenting the New Christy Minstrels” won them a Grammy Award and soon they were regulars on the Andy Williams Show and were playing venues from The Troubadour to Carnegie Hall.
Sparks has called the group “the best talent show ever” and his ability to blend unique and diverse talents helped make the group legendary. No other performing group has ever spawned as many successful musical careers, including those of Kim Carnes, Kenny Rogers, and members of The First Edition. Although Sparks left the group for a short period, since the 1990s he has reunited some of the original members and recreated the group’s fundamental style. Now seven members strong and a mix of old and new, he considers the group to be the best it has ever been. For more than five decades, the lighthearted spirit and rich harmonies of The New Christy Minstrels have made them audience favorites wherever they go.
The performance begins at 8 p.m.
The Bankhead Theater is located a 2400 First Street in downtown Livermore. Tickets are available at the box office, online at www.lvpac.org or by calling 373-6800.