Mini Bio (1)
The Classics IV got their beginnings in Jacksonville, Florida, in the early 1960s when drummer Dennis Yost got together with several high-school classmates and formed a band they called The Echoes. He left that group in 1965 and began another group he called The Classics. The group consisted of Yost, James Cobb, Wally Eaton and Joe Wilson (he was later replaced by Dean Daughtry. They had a local hit with "Pollyanna", a Joe South song. They soon learned that there already was a group called The Classics, so they changed their name to the Four Classics and then to the Classics IV.
In 1967 they moved from Jacksonville to Atlanta, Georgia, and eventually were signed to a contract by Capitol Records. Their first release was a somewhat odd one--a local sax player named Mike Sharpe had recorded an instrumental called "Spooky", and guitarist Cobb and producer Buddy Rule wrote lyrics for it, the group recorded them and they were added to the instrumental track. The song eventually became a national hit, rising to #3 on the Billboard charts and selling more than one million copies. They began to make the rounds of TV shows and live appearances. Yost had been the group's drummer and lead singer, and they added drummer Kim Venable so that Yost could devote full time to singing.
The group's follow-up record to "Spooky" was called "Soul Train", but flopped. Their next one, however, was a certifiable hit: "Stormy", which rose to #5 on the charts in 1969 and also became a million-seller. Their hits continued with "Traces of Love", yet another million seller. Ther next release, "Every Day With You, Girl" was a respectable hit, rising to #12 on the charts. Cobb and Daughtry, along with producer Rule, eventually left the group to form Atlanta Rhythm Section, which included members of Roy Orbison's back-up band.
Dennis Yost left the group to try for a solo career, but had only minor recording success. He continued to tour, however, and played with such acts as Gary Lewis & The Playboys, Chuck Berry, The Coasters and The Turtles. He eventually moved to Nashville to take up a career as a songwriter and producer. In 2000 he underwent throat surgery, and in 2005 was severely injured in a fall, which required his being placed in a nursing home to recuperate. In 2008 he died of respiratory failure, aged 65.
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