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Sparkle Moore: Bio


When Rock ‘N’ Roll casts a fond eye back to its roots, it will always remember the blond rockabilly bombshell, Sparkle Moore, who was the rockin’ female icon during its infancy. Sparkle was honored in September, 2010, by induction into the Iowa Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, where they recognized her early pioneer status by proclaiming her the “Queen of Rockabilly”. She started her rock and roll journey in 1955 in Omaha, Nebraska, playing the latest rock hits at local clubs and functions, and rode the rockabilly train from 1955-1959.

Her break came in 1956, when Grahame “Crackers” Richards, a Disc Jockey at radio station KOWH in Omaha, Nebraska, became her manager. Within a week, Grahame had secured five offers from major labels to record Sparkle. She was signed with Fraternity records, based in Cincinnati. Her adoptive name, Sparkle Moore, was derived from Sparkle Plenty, based on her hairstyle resemblance to this character in the Dick Tracy comic strip. Her first record, “Rock-a-Bop” b/w “Skull and Crossbones” was released in 1956. In 1957, “Killer” and “Tiger” followed. Any female singer during that time-frame was promptly labeled a “Female Presley”.

To promote the recordings, Sparkle went on a cross-country tour wearing flashy jackets and playing for teen dances/sock hops, dance halls, clubs, schools, record stores, and other shows and events. She opened for a Tommy Sands show, and played with Gene Vincent, Ronnie Self, the Grand Old Opry, Sammy Davis, Jr., and others. Her music was considered very wild and unorthodox for a woman of that day. Sparkle also takes credit for being the first hippie to hit California several years later with a guitar strapped on the side of a Harley, convinced that Hollywood and Vine held the key to instant success. As result of her early recordings and related appearances, Sparkle Moore is credited as being one of the first women in American rock and roll.

Sparkle, was born Barbara Morgan on 6 November 1936, in Omaha, Nebraska.  Her first serious interest in music began before the age of ten when she got an acoustic Hawaiian steel guitar at a pawn shop and pursued it with a deep passion. As time went on, she yodeled with the tunes of Jimmie Rodgers, wailed the songs of Hank Williams, played a cello in the grade school orchestra, and the string bass and bassoon in the high school orchestra and band.

From mid-high school days, musicians regularly frequented her basement. By 1954, with the appearance of Billy Haley on the music scene, attention was focused on rock and roll. Sparkle was crazy about rock and roll, and she once ran away from home to join a New Orleans Rock Band.

Her musical endeavors have remained strong throughout her life. Through the years, her strongest musical interest remains in creating home recordings. Sparkle is a true guru of Indie. She has authored, arranged, sang, played and recorded original music track-over-track for over four decades, progressively using the latest available recording systems. The first of this self-generated material to be released is on her new CD, “SPARK-A-BILLY”.

There has been a resurgence of rockabilly in Europe, and vintage recordings have resurfaced. Sparkle’s recordings have been recently re-released on multiple compilations by ACE Records of London and other labels. Other artists have recorded her songs. She receives numerous offers to play rockabilly concerts both in Europe and in the US.

For her contributions to female rockabilly and later rock and roll as we know it today and for the inspiration she provided to many of those early rockin’ women, Sparkle Moore will be remembered. For her Indie contributions in the present market, the verdict is still out.


                               “OLD KATS NEVER DIE -- THEY JUST KEEP ON PURR-R-IN’!”




                                                                                                 By Sparkle Moore


Encounter yourself in Creation’s Force

in the face of a million atoms,

Held together by some holy union

only revelation fathoms.

And in a blaze of brilliance

Desire abides in speculations,

of goals of high intentions

and mighty aspirations.


Life’s trail narrows as the sun sets

on the journey one faces alone,

And the soul cries out in its weariness

of the pursuits it has known,

It closes the door to dreams fulfilled,

And conquests left denied,

And recalls its pleasures, its joys and loves,

And a million tears it’s cried.


And the Mighty Book of Journeys

on which a single soul embarks

Is filled with burned and smouldering embers

and still undying sparks.

Still fresh as newborn drops of dew,

And tired and old as the dirt,

And as full as the junkyard of discarded objects,

Is the soul, inspired and hurt,


By consequences of its footsteps,

as it explored the Great unknown,

As it gathered the fruits of its labors

With the momentum of a rolling stone.

The past, the present, and future,

curiously merged into one,

As Time, the blender of all life events,

proclaimed that the tests were done.


And ambitions shadow the obvious,

with clever, deceptive attire,

And the unknown loudly beacons

searching, striving, desire.

Pure, simple joys are overlooked

pursuing the mysteries of life,

and everyday treasures pass by unseen

by blind turmoils and strife.


If ever I could find a way

to reverse the course of time,

and pass again through splendid days

whose essence was the rhyme

of sonnets written by my soul

in quest of its own truth

searching for its destiny

through advancing years from youth,


I’d stop and drink the flavor

of the souls whose paths I crossed

And absorb the glow of sunsets

of the many nights I lost

Chasing dreams and dragons

of choices left unfed,

While clocks with cold and ticking hands

tended gardens of the dead.


The passions of the masses fail,

both deaf and unseeing,

While mortal man tries in vain

to clarify his being;

To observe but not to comprehend

is the Truth of Nature’s call,

For Creation already manifested

is the only All-in-All.