January 13 – Classics IV Song Was Classic Hit Twice

Long before Cliff Richard told us about a “Devil Woman” or Cher about the “Dark Lady”, we heard about another slightly unnerving female in song. On this day in 1968, “Spooky” hit the charts, the first top 40 hit for the Classics IV.

Originally a club band noted for playing cover songs around Jacksonville, they’d signed onto a branch of Capitol Records by the Summer of Love and relocated to Atlanta. The clean-cut, Brylcreamed group was led by drummer-singer Dennis Yost (although he soon gave up his drumming duties to allow him to be more front-and-center on stage) and guitarist JR Cobb as well as manager Buddy Buie among others. They were one of the first southern rock bands and decidedly more easy-going than their contemporaries like the Allman Brothers.

The song about a spooky little girl was originally an instrumental hit in Georgia for Mike Sharpe in 1966. However, Buie and Cobb wrote lyrics for it and recorded it and found a much greater audience. It was their fourth single but first hit, going to #3 on the Billboard charts. They’d soon follow up with two more significant hits in the late-’60s, “Stormy” and “Traces.” While Yost continued with various incarnations of the band until he suffered a devastating injury in 2006 after falling (he passed away two years later), Cobb, Buie and keyboardist Dean Daughtrey left the Classics IV by 1971. They went on to run a studio near Atlanta, do session work and go on to form the even more successful Atlanta Rhythm Section, which also recorded “Spooky” and had a top 20 hit with it in 1979.

5 thoughts on “January 13 – Classics IV Song Was Classic Hit Twice

  1. badfinger20 (Max)

    I like this song…it was a bit jazzy in a way especially the instrumental. It was different from what was charting at the time. The melody is certainly memorable since it has hit at different times.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. it is a good tune, no question. I like both versions, think I prefer the newer (ARS) one a little, really nice guitar on it which I must admit I only REALLY noticed a few weeks back when listening to it.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What interested me here in its iterations was, as Max said, again getting in first- dammit Max, haven’t we been over this before!- is how each version was brought more up to date for the era. The Sharpe version is such an unfinished template, just begging for a smoother do-over. And it gets it from the IV and the ARS. It’s odd its not one of those on high rotation on the oldies station- but maybe its just different enough to not be another ‘Hotel California,’ where every lick and nuance has been overheard over and over again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Gotta get up pretty early in the morning to beat Max to the punch, I guess, LOL.
      It is a real good song, they really fit that tune with lyrics well. I hear the old version occasionally on “oldies” radio and have heard the ARS one in supermarkets in the last year or so, but generally yep, hasn’t been played much.

      Liked by 1 person

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