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Big Easy Street Sounds

The Sparks
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Earl Stanley

THE SPARKS CIRCA l956.
Photos courtesy Earl Stanley.
 
Ronald Massell, Don Counell,
Owen Bougeois, Don Bailey and
Joe Lovecchio recorded Merry, Merry Lou.

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Ronald Massel,
Don Counell.

 
 
 
 
The original five members consisted of Don Bailey, who plays bass and sings; Owen Bougeois, pianist; Ronald Massel, who plays saxophone; Don Counell, a drummer; and Joe Lovecchio, another sax man.
 
Above info circa 1955.

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Owen Bourgeois,
Don Bailey and Joe Lovecchio.
 
Several months ago, Universal-International Pictures sponsored a "Battle of the Bands" talent contest in New Orleans. The winning group, out of teenaged contestants from 3 states, was the Sparks. First prize was a Decca audition - and when they returned home it was with a recording contract. Their first release couples OL' MAN RIVER and MERRY, MERRY LOU.

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J.V. Papania.
 
J.V. joined the group soon after.