Pop Group Buie, Cobb, Venable from Atlanta, GA

Source: Alabama Music Hall of Fame

Classics IV was the 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 and 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.

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", a song they recorded in 1967 on the Imperial Records label. Guitarist James Cobb and producer Buddy Buie added lyrics to an instrumental called "Spooky", a regional hit for saxophonist Mike Sharpe. The song made it to #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the U.S., and #46 in the UK. It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc.[1]

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). "Stormy" and "Traces" both sold over one million units, and were awarded gold discs by the R.I.A.A..[1]

They changed their name again, to Dennis Yost and the Classics IV, and had one more hit, "What Am I Crying For?" (1972, #39) on the MGM South label. Cobb, Daughtry and producer Buddy Buie joined the Atlanta Rhythm Section in 1974.

Dennis Yost was 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. During the 1990s the lineup included Steve "Stevie G." Guettler (guitar, vocals), Jeff "JT" Strickler (bass guitar, vocals), Steve Farrell (guitar, vocals), Mike Wilson (keyboards, vocals) and Wes Armstrong (drums, vocals) of the Atlanta based group "The Rockerz". He also used the Nashville based group Steve Jarrell and "The Sons of The Beach Band". From 2000 to 2005 the lineup included Tom Vale (saxophone, backing vocals), Bill Johnson (keyboards), Brian Correll (guitar, backing vocals), Doug Reed (drums), and during 2005, Don Martin (bass), and Perry Williams (keyboards & sax at last 3 concerts). The final concert of "Dennis Yost" and the Classics IV was at Chenay Bay, St. Croix, Virgin Islands, on Sept.24, 2005.

On July 11, 2006, Yost fell down a flight of stairs and suffered a serious brain trauma. To assist Yost and his wife with their medical bills, a benefit concert was held on March 25, 2007, at Rhino's Live in Cincinnati, Ohio. The benefit was originally conceived by Yost's close friend Jon "Bowser" Bauman, former vocalist with Sha Na Na. Many musical entertainers and some surprise guests from the 1950s through the 1970s performed some of their biggest chart-topping hits in tribute to Yost. Some of the artists performing that day was Denny Laine (The Moody Blues and Wings), Chuck Negron (previously of Three Dog Night), Ian Mitchell (Bay City Rollers), Pat Upton (Spiral Staircase), "Diamond" Dave Somerville, The Skyliners, Buzz Cason, Carl Dobkins,Jr., Mark Vollman (The Turtles), and Classics IV guitarist, Brian Correll. The concert did not significantly benefit Yost or his wife financially, as was hoped - expenses far exceeded the money raised, leaving the event in the red. However, it was a huge boost for Yost to visit with so many old friends.

After Dennis' accident he chose Tom Garrett to replace him as lead singer for The Classics IV. The plan was for Dennis to make a few yearly "special appearances", and gradually have Tom take over as the leader of the band. However Dennis was only able to perform with them for one appearance in 2008. Tom and Dennis worked closely together to develop the current line-up. He chose Tom to help him keep The Classics IV music going in the Classics IV tradition. Dennis would listen to the band on recorded CDs and during that time Tom and Dennis became close friends. The band Dennis chose three years ago and continues with The Classics IV Trademark is: Tom Garrett- Lead Vocalist, Kevin Lloyd-Bass, Tim Ridgeway-Drums, Joe Sadler-Guitar, Garard Motague III-Sax & Flute and James Yoder-Keyboards.

Dennis Yost died of respiratory failure, on December 7, 2008, at the age of 65.[2]


Vinyl LPs

Spooky - Imperial 12371 - 1968

Mamas And Papas/Soul Train - Imperial 12407 - 1968

Traces - Imperial 12429 - 1969 (as Classics IV featuring Dennis Yost)

Song - Imperial - 1970

Golden Greats, Volume 1 - Imperial 16000 - 1969

What Am I Crying For?/Rosanna/Make Me Believe It - MGM South - MSH-702 - 1972/73 (as Dennis Yost and The Classics IV)


Lil' Bit Of Gold - Rhino R3 73004 - 1988 (this is one of Rhino's rare gold 3 inch CD singles featuring the band's four hits, "Spooky", "Traces", "Everyday With You Girl", and "Stormy") (as Classics IV featuring Dennis Yost)

The Very Best of Classics IV - Capitol - 1988

The Greatest Hits - EMI Special Products - 1992

Best Of Dennis Yost & The Classics IV - Imperial/Capitol from the (Legendary Masters Series) 2003

' "Atmospherics" 28 hits of Dennis Yost and The Classics IV' Australian release 2003

The soundtrack of "Six Feet Under" HBO series, "Spooky" 2004


1^ a b Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. pp. 218 & 256. ISBN 0-214-20512-6.

2^ Associated Press, December 8, 2008 Classics IV singer Dennis Yost dies at 65; www.msnbc.msn.com

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classics_IV

More info:

Website: http://www.theclassicsiv.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheClassicsIV


Video: Classics IV http://youtu.be/IhnELml1FHM

Video: CLASSICS IV- "STORMY" http://youtu.be/PQC44abDw-Q


classics iv albums

Amazon: Classics IV

iTunes: Classics IV

The Classics IV: A New Horizon

Subscribe to Newsletter

Rick Carter Radio - All Alabama Music

Accepting submissions and adding them daily. Artists can send their songs in MP3's to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. One song per email. Graphics and song and artist info should be included of course.

This space
for rent!

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.