Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Dec. 7: Lead singer Dennis Yost of the Classics IV ("Spooky", "Stormy," and "Traces of Love"), died on this date in 2008....

The  Classics IV are 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 and which have become cover standards.

Formed in Jacksonville, Florida, United States, in 1965, the group grew out of a local cover band called The Classics. The band played Ventures covers, instrumental versions of "Misty" and "Summertime" with Dennis playing drums. 

When people started requesting songs with vocals,  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.

After receiving 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. During live shows, Yost would stand in the front of the stage and play drums while singing the lead vocals. Eventually, Dennis climbed from behind the drums and focused on singing lead.

(Continued below video and Amazon portal ...)

 HIGHLY Recommended (Press album covers for direct links to Amazon):

Classics IV - Greatest Hits (10 Best Series)The Very Best of The Classics IVAtmospherics: Complete Career Collection 1966-1975Best Of Dennis Yost & The Classics IV (Legendary Masters Series)

The Classics IV moved to Atlanta, Georgia in 1967 and were discovered by Bill Lowery who produced their first national hit in 1968 with "Spooky," it made No.3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the U.S., and No.46 in the UK. They changed the band name to Classics IV Featuring Dennis Yost and enjoyed two Top 10 hits, "Stormy" and "Traces" and a Top Twenty hit, "Everyday With You Girl" in 1969.

They changed their name again, to Dennis Yost and the Classics IV, and had one last hit, "What Am I Crying For?" in 1972.

Dennis Yost is credited as the creator of the "Southern Soft Rock" sound. He was known as "the singer's singer, and "The Classic One" because of his smooth, unique voice, and was described as singing "with a tear in his voice." He was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in 1993, an honor he coveted most, because Ray Charles, his favorite singer, was inducted a few years before.

Yost continued to perform with Classics IV for the next thirty years.


... he was 65 when he died respiratory failure. He had been in nursing homes since suffering a brain injury sustained in a 2005 fall.

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