Melvin Sparks (1946–2011) was a talented American Soul Jazz, Hard Bop & Blues guitarist. The Texas native picked up a guitar at age 11 and was only 13 when he sat in with B.B. King. As a high school student first he joined Hank Ballard and the Midnighters, and then the Upsetters (a touring band formed by Little Richard, which also backed Curtis Mayfield, Sam Cooke and Marvin Gaye). Sparks and his guitar were very much in demand during the ‘60s-‘70s and he was featured on sessions by Lonnie Smith, Charles Earland, Lou Donaldson & Sonny Phillips among others.