Songwriter Singer Performer
Sparks began writing songs inspired by our times in the 1970s. Chosen by legendary artist Peter Yarrow as a new folk artist at the Kerrville folk festival, Sparks has performed live for millions of listeners. In 1980 Sparks recorded “Let Our People GO,” a prayer to free the Iranian hostages. Performing live at Solidarity Day in 1981 singing to over 500,000 people on the capital grounds, Sparks’ original songs “Make us All Teachers” and “Join Hands” were chosen for a live album with Pete Seeger and Joe Glazer. Recently Sparks sang for the hundreds gathered to voice concern for the separated children on our borders with his song, “Walls Come Down.” Sparks and his music have been a clarion call for equality, unity and hope for four decades.
Neil Young opened his Dallas concert in 1985 by playing Billy’s song, “Going, Going, Gone,” a ballad for the farmers locked in a deep depression. Sparks helped create the first Farm Aid concert and played for the thousands of farmers who marched on Washington in 1985.
Sparks played for the Crystal Apple awards at the famous Gracie Mansion in New York. He performed at the Freedom Festival in 1989. Sparks took to the stage to sing for the hundreds of thousands gathered for peace in D.C. in 1991. He has played Threadgill’s in Austin, Texas and the Lone Star Café in NYC.
As an accomplished songwriter, Sparks has been invited to write the songs to commemorate the historic meeting of a Lakota elder and an Andean Elder for the first time in 600 years. And when the civil rights training center, the Highlander School in Tennessee where Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King began their journey, wanted a new song for their 50th anniversary leadership conference, they called Billy who wrote “Make Us All Teachers.”
Billy and Jennifer recently recorded “Prayer for America,” dedicated to our first responders in Nashville’s famous music row accompanied by some of Music City’s finest players and co-produced with country music artist Billy Dawson.
Sparks wrote and recorded “Rolling Thunder,” an anthem for the 500-year journey of Native Americans. The song was featured on Japanese nationwide TV and was sung live for a gathering of Elders at Wounded Knee. Former Sting lead guitarist Jeffrey Lee Campbell played on the cut.
Sparks performed in Times Square with Richie Havens on the 20th anniversary of Woodstock. His band the Bird Tribe played live for the 60 thousand gathered at the original site. Juma Sultan, who had played with Hendrix in 1969, was on Congas. Sparks performed his inspiring song, “Warriors of the Rainbow,” at sunset.
Sparks journey has brought us songs to lift our hearts and remind all of us of the power of music to heal, to bring love into our lives and unify us all as one people. A New York music publication once featured Sparks with the headline, “Igniting Evolution.”
Jennifer Sparks has performed in choral ensembles and theater productions for over 30 years. She was a member of the elite a cappella singing “Madigrals” at the National Cathedral School for girls. While in High School, she founded an all female a cappella singing group called “Sarsparilla 7”. She also sang with the University of Chicago Motet Choir. In addition to starring roles in Gilbert and Sullivan productions in Chicago, she delighted audiences in London with her portrayal of the Mother Superior in “Nunsense” in the London Fringe (London’s equivalent to Off Broadway). She also enjoys performing jazz/cabaret music.
Prayer for America
Lyrics and Music by Billy Sparks/7 Sparks Productions
Produced by Billy Dawson/ Associate Producers Mikie Booth and Jesua Booth/Dawson studios/ Benchmark Studio/ Engineered by Billy Dawson and Chris Utley/ Vocals by Billy Sparks/ Background vocals by Jen Sparks and Maureen Murphy/ Cellist, Paul Nelson & Violinist Avery Bright/ Steel Guitar and Acoustic Guitar by Ed Beaird/ Electric guitar by Justin Ostrander & Billy Dawson/ Drums by Wes Little/ Keyboards/Piano by Michael Hughes/ Mixed and Mastered by Skidd Mills