The New Christy Minstrels
Pop-folk chorus organized in 1961 by singer/songwriter Randy Sparks, who also served as their first Music Director. They got their first big break the following year when Andy Williams first heard them and signed them on as regulars on his TV show. A recording contract with Columbia records soon followed, and their many hits on that label included "Green, Green", "Saturday Night", "Today" and "Chim Chim Cheree". After leaving the Williams show, they remained busy for the balance of the decade, recording prolifically, guesting on many of the top variety shows of the period, and making personal appearances. Read more... score for the 1964 film "Advance to the Rear," starring Glenn Ford, Stella Stevens and Melvyn Douglas. The Christies are unique among performing groups in the number of distinguished alumni that moved on from the group to successful careers of their own. A brief list would have to include: Karen Black, Kenny Rogers and most of the First Edition, Barry McGuire (#1 hit with "Eve of Destruction" 1965), Skyles and Henderson, Larry Ramos of the Association, Art Podell and Jerry Yester of the Livin' Spoonful.