The Classics IV came from Florida with a unique sound in the late 60's and early 70's, a sound that helped to send pop music in a somewhat different direction.
The group was formed in 1965 in Jacksonville, Florida. The original members were James R. Cobb, Wally Eaton, and Joe Wilson on guitars, and drummer Dennis Yost. Yost played drums while standing at the front of the group. The group's producer was Buddy Buie. Cobb was from Alabama, and Eaton and Yost were from Jacksonville. Wilson was eventually replaced in the group by Dean Daughtry.
The group's first big break came with a song that had been arranged by Cobb and which the group recorded on the Imperial label in 1967 titled Spooky. It was picked up by a radio station in Louisville, Kentucky and began to get airplay. The song's popularity spread nationally and went into the top ten early in 1968; it reached only number 46 in the UK.
As they became known as recording artists, the group hired Kim Venable to be the drummer and Dennis Yost came to the front to sing. They began to record as the Classics IV featuring Dennis Yost. Cobb and Buie attempted to follow the success of Spooky and co-wrote Soul Train, but it became only a minor hit. In late 1968 and early 1969, the Classics IV featuring Dennis Yost recorded two songs that became million sellers and would be the group's final top ten entries, Stormy and Traces. They also released Every Day With You Girl, a solid top twenty entry, late in 1969.
The group's name was changed slightly once again, to Dennis Yost and the Classics IV. After switching from Imperial, in 1972 they issued their final top forty entry, What Am I Crying For?, on the MGM South label. In 1974, Cobb, Daughtry and Buie combined with some members of Roy Orbison's band to form the Atlanta Rhythm Section, a group that later in the 70's would issue its own cover of Spooky.
The current lineup of the Classics IV has been touring since 2007 and was chosen by Dennis Yost after a fall that injured him in 2005. He chose Tom Garrett and his band (formerly The Spectors) to become the Classics IV since he had regained The Classics IV Trademark. Tom and Dennis worked closely to make sure the sound was true to the recordings. Dennis' plan was to do special concerts depending on his health with Tom and eventually to retire. Unfortunately he was only able to do one concert before he passed away in Fort Hamilton Hospital in Hamilton, Ohio at age 65 from respiratory failure on December 7, 2008.
The sound of the Classics IV is credited by some rock historians with launching the thrust of "Southern Boogie" in the 70's.
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