Spooky ~ Classics IV

The Classics IV were a band formed in Jacksonville, Florida, United States, in 1965, given credit for beginning the “soft southern rock” sound. The band and its lead singer Dennis Yost are principally known for the hits “Spooky”, “Stormy”, and “Traces”, released in 1968 and 1969, which have become cover standards.

The group grew out of a local cover band called The Classics, consisting of Buddy Buie, JR Cobb, Walter Eaton, Dennis Yost, and Robert Nix. Buie, Cobb, Nix and Dean Daughtry went on to play in The Atlanta Rhythm Section; and Nix on the first two Lynyrd Skynyrd albums. The band played Ventures covers, instrumental versions of “Misty” and “Summertime”. People started requesting songs that required vocals, so Dennis would say “I can sing that”, and that was the beginning of the group’s changing direction. In addition to playing a rendition of The Tornados “Telstar”, they started playing songs with vocals, such as “Sherry” by The Four Seasons. When Dennis Yost joined Wally (Walnut) Eaton’s group they became The Classics. Dennis had been a member of the band “The Echoes”. The name “The Classics” came from the “Classic” drum set Dennis Yost had. He was well known in the Georgia/Florida area, as the “stand up drummer”. He said he played drums, sang lead, M-C d, and sometimes drank a beer at the same time! When Wally Eaton discovered Dennis could sing, The Classics recorded a Four Seasons sounding, regional hit called “Pollyanna”, a song written by Joe South, with Dennis Yost singing lead. Shortly after they received a letter stating that another group had the name, “The Classics” and had a hit call “Till Then”. Not wanting to change the name they added IV because there were only 4 members. Kim Venable was hired after the name change. The Classics IV members were Dennis Yost (vocals & drums), James B. Cobb, Jr. (guitars), Wally Eaton (Bass) and Joe Wilson (guitar & keys). During live shows, Yost would stand in the front of the stage and play drums while singing the lead vocals. Cobb and Wilson left the band and Wilson was replaced by Dean Daughtry.

Having achieved popularity, the group brought in Kim Venable on drums so that Yost could focus on singing. They changed the band name to Classics IV Featuring Dennis Yost and enjoyed two last Top 10 hits, “Stormy” (1968, #5) and “Traces” (1969, #2) and a Top Twenty hit, “Everyday With You Girl” (1969, #19) (Cobb and Buie borrowed heavily from “Everyday With Jesus”, attributed to Charles Johnson).

Spooky

Spooky” was originally an instrumental song performed by saxophonist Mike Sharpe (Shapiro), written by Shapiro and Harry Middlebrooks, Jr., which first charted in 1967 hitting #57 on the US pop charts.  Its best known version was created by The Classics IV when guitarist James Cobb and producer Buddy Buie added lyrics centering on a “spooky little girl”

Cobb (along with bandmates Robert Nix and Dean Daughtry) later became part of the Atlanta Rhythm Section and re-recorded “Spooky” in 1979.

“Spooky” has also been covered by a number of artists including Dusty Springfield (whose version was featured prominently in the Guy Ritchie film Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels), Andy Williams, Martha and the Vandellas, Michel Pagliaro (recorded song in French), Velvet Monkeys, Daniel Ash, R.E.M., The Jazz Butcher, GoldieLocks, Imogen Heap, Lydia Lunch, David Sanborn, The Golden Cups, The Puppini Sisters, Atlanta Rhythm Section, Marc Antoine, The Boris Gardiner Happening, Phish and The Lettermen.

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In the cool of the evening when ev’rything is gettin’ kind of groovy,
I call you up and ask you if you want to go and meet and see a movie,
First you say no, you’ve got some plans for the night,
And then you stop, and say, “All right.”
Love is kinda crazy with a spooky little girl like you.

You always keep me guessin’, I never seem to know what you are thinkin’.
And if a fella looks at you, it’s for sure your little eye will be a-winkin’.
I get confused, ’cause I don’t know where I stand,
And then you smile, and hold my hand.
Love is kinda crazy with a spooky little girl like you.
Spooky!

If you decide someday to stop this little game that you are playin’,
I’m gonna tell you all what my heart’s been a-dyin’ to be sayin’.
Just like a ghost, you’ve been a-hauntin’ my dreams,
So I’ll propose… on Halloween.
Love is kinda crazy with a spooky little girl like you.

Spooky,
Spooky,
Spooky,
Oh-whoa, all right,

  • Audio from the 1967 album, Spooky:

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About DJ Allyn

DJ Allyn is a burned out radio guy who went on to become a burned out sound engineer for a few Seattle area grunge bands in the 1980s and 1990s. Left the madness of worldwide tours with bands, cleaned up my act and went into the relative sanity of sound engineering for television series. Currently working as the Director of Sound for a television series being filmed in North Vancouver, British Columbia. I am always on the lookout for interesting videos, old music, and fun.

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