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Spooky by Classics IV

song spooky wiki


  • This song was originally an instrumental by the saxophone player Mike Shapiro, who recorded it as Mike Sharpe. J.R. Cobb, who was the band's lead guitarist, heard this song and added lyrics to it with their producer Buddy Buie. Cobb later formed the Atlanta Rhythm Section along with fellow band member Dean Daughtry and members of a band called The Candymen.
  • There's been some controversy over who played the sax solo on this song, as different people have claimed to have played it. According to Classics IV's biographer Joe Glickman, it was Mike Shapiro, who wrote and recorded the original instrumental version of the song, who played the sax. Glickman wrote in the Forgotten Hits newsletter: The reason he didn't play on some of the other records (the ones Ray Jarrel played on) was because Mike was a bit hard to work with in the studio. He had a very good concept of how he wanted the solos, which differed from Buddy Buie's ideas of mainstream pop. There's a bit of a tone-break at the end of the solo that Mike insisted on re-recording, but Buddy wouldn't let him. English White was a sax player that was brought in later during the 'Traces' road tour to fill in for the sax. Mike did not tour at all and the band had been playing for a while with Auburn Burrell filling in the sax solos on lead guitar. That was hurting their reception since the sax had a lot to do with their sound."
  • In 1979, the Atlanta Rhythm Section released a new version that hit #48 in the UK and #17 in the US. Their version doesn't differ greatly from the original, which makes sense as three of this group's members (Robert Nix, James Cobb and Dean Daughtry) played with Classics IV before joining this group. >> Suggestion credit : Mike - Santa Barbara, CA
  • This was one of the first songs to get a lot of airplay on the Album Oriented Rock (AOR) format. FM was relatively new, and AOR was a great format for people who wanted to hear songs on rock albums that weren't necessarily hits.
  • Other artists to record this song include Dusty Springfield, The Velvet Monkeys and Daniel Ash. Imogen Heap also recorded it for the soundtrack of the movie Just Like Heaven .
  • More songs from Classics IV
  • More songs popular at Halloween
  • More songs from 1968
  • Lyrics to Spooky

Comments: 15

  • Mrs. Linda (dennis) Yost from Cincinnati,ohio After Dennis’ accident Tom Garrett was hired to work with Dennis to be a replacement or co lead vocal for some live performances due to health issues .They hired Garard Montague (Bart) until he had back issues and could not travel. Paul Wesleyan was hired and has been touring with Tom the last 3 years on successful The Happy Together Tour. And the entire band is now happily doing live shows after the pandemic!
  • Funkifized from Lowell, Ma The interesting thing about this band is that all the hits had prominent saxophone solos on them, but there seems to have not been a sax player in the band. I disagree that there was little difference between the Atlanta Rhythm Section's version of "Spooky" and the Classics IV version. The rhythm pattern was the same, but it was much more rockin' guitars. I liked the updated version better for a short time and eventually found the Classics IV take to be much more listenable.
  • Joanne from Ct I could transport myself in 1968 to an 8th grade grammar school dance like it was yesterday. This song is “ groovy”
  • Barry from Sauquoit, Ny Buddy Buie died July 18th, 2015 after suffering a heart attack in Eufaula, Alabama. May he R.I.P.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, Ny On December 17th 1967 "Spooky" by the Classics IV entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; and on February 4th, 1968 it peaked at #3 (for 3 weeks) and spent 15 weeks on the Top 100... The quartet had a total of three Top 10 hits; and all three had 'one word' titles, the other two were "Stormy" (#5 in 1968) and "Traces" (#2 for 1 week in 1969)... Sadly, lead singer Dennis Yost passed away on December 7th, 2008 at the age of 65... May he R.I.P.
  • Howard from Levittown, Pa "Just like a ghost you keep on haunting my dreams/so I'll propose on Halloween." One of the cleverest lines ever. Cobb's guitar style didn't change between Classics IV and ARS; the texture seemed different in the mix though. I wonder sometimes if Classics IV opened up a niche for sax in pop/rock("Year of the Cat," "The One You Love" "Fool If You Think It's Over" etc.).
  • Edward from Henderson, Nv Another song about a girl with unpredictable mood swings: Billy Joel"s "She's Always a Woman."
  • Leah from Brooklyn, Ny In concept, this song about a boyfriend/girlfriend who has creepy mood swings and personality changes is first cousin to Katy Perry's recent tune "Hot N Cold."
  • Dave from Easton, Pa Wasn't the vocalist on theses Classics IV songs Dennis Yost? I have the single "Traces" and it's listed as "The Classics IV Featuring Dennis Yost." His smooth vocals go well with the Classics IV sound. I loved ARS, too.
  • Vic from Knoxville, Tn I love those descending triplets in the 2nd guitar solo
  • Bri from Orange, Ca A cover was don by dusty springfeld
  • Mike from Santa Barbara, Ca I've wondered what or who this song was about. It sounds like it could be about Morticia Addams from The Addams Family.
  • Ekristheh from Halath, United States Cute'n'clever, one of my all times.
  • Rick from San Juan, United States In one of the early episodes of HBO's "Six Feet Under", Spooky was played in one eerie scene where Nate (Peter Crause) is having a conversation with his dead father. The scene became even funnier when he told his dad that he didn't know he was into the Classics IV.
  • Jonnie from St. Louis, Mo The first recording of "Spooky" was an instrumental version by saxophonist Mike Sharp. It was a 1966 - 1967 release...forgotten by most, but always one of my personal favorites. There is also a recent Smooth Jazz version of "Spooky" by David Sanborn which is excellent...and faithful to the original version. (Mike Sharp (Shapiro) was part of the team that wrote "Spooky". J.R. Cobb, Buddy Buie & Harry Middlebrooks, Jr. were all listed as writers. They eventually became The Atlanta Rhythm Section. And the rest is history.) Jonnie King/WSSM, St. Louis

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The Meaning Behind The Song: Spooky by Percy Sledge

Spooky by Percy Sledge is a well-known song that has touched the hearts of many listeners. Released in 1967, this soulful ballad tells a haunting tale of love and longing. The lyrics and melody combine to create a melancholic atmosphere that resonates with anyone who has experienced the pain of unrequited love or lost opportunities. But what is the true meaning behind this timeless song? Let’s dive into the depths of Spooky and explore its hidden layers.

Table of Contents

The Melancholic Atmosphere

Spooky starts with a mellow guitar riff that sets the tone for the entire song. The slow tempo and ethereal quality of the music immediately establish a melancholic atmosphere. Percy Sledge’s smooth vocals further enhance the emotional depth of the song. As the lyrics unfold, we are transported into a world of heartache and longing. The combination of the music and Sledge’s emotive delivery captures the essence of unrequited love.

Unrequited Love and Longing

At its core, Spooky is a song about unrequited love and the longing for a past lover. The lyrics tell the story of a person who is haunted by memories of a lost love. The chorus, “Love me, love me, love me, say you do / Let me fly away with you,” expresses the yearning for the affection and companionship that once existed. The verses paint a picture of a love that has slipped away, leaving the narrator heartbroken and filled with regret. The emotions conveyed in the song resonate with those who have experienced the pain of a love that was never fully realized.

The Significance of the Spooky Metaphor

The use of the word “spooky” in the song’s title and chorus adds a layer of mystery and intrigue. While the word may initially evoke images of ghosts and the supernatural, its meaning within the context of the song is metaphorical. In this case, “spooky” refers to the lingering presence of a past love, haunting the narrator’s thoughts and dreams. It symbolizes the deep emotional impact that love can have, even long after it has ended. This metaphorical usage heightens the emotional intensity of the song and further emphasizes the theme of longing.

The Impact of Spooky

Spooky quickly became a hit and continues to be a beloved track among fans of soul music. Its timeless appeal lies in its ability to capture the universal experience of love and heartbreak. The raw emotions conveyed in the song resonate with listeners of all backgrounds and ages. Spooky serves as a reminder of the power of music to connect people on a deep emotional level. Whether you’re singing along to its haunting melody or reminiscing about lost love, Spooky stays with you long after the song ends.

FAQs About Spooky by Percy Sledge

Who wrote spooky.

Spooky was written by James Cobb and Mike Shapiro. They originally composed the song for a band called Classics IV, who released their own version in 1967. However, it was Percy Sledge’s rendition that became the most popular and enduring.

What inspired the lyrics of Spooky?

The exact inspiration behind the lyrics of Spooky is not widely known. However, the universal themes of lost love and longing have resonated with countless listeners over the years. The emotions captured in the song are likely influenced by personal experiences or observations of heartache.

Why did Percy Sledge’s version become more famous than the original?

Percy Sledge’s rendition of Spooky struck a chord with listeners due to his powerful and soulful vocals. His emotive delivery enhanced the emotional depth of the lyrics, making it resonate with a wider audience. Sledge’s version also benefited from his popularity at the time, following the success of his previous hit, “When a Man Loves a Woman.”

Are there any notable cover versions of Spooky?

Yes, there are several notable cover versions of Spooky. Some notable artists who have recorded their own versions include Dusty Springfield, Joan Osborne, and Atlanta Rhythm Section. Each artist brings their unique interpretation to the song, adding their own flair while staying true to the haunting essence of the original.

Is Spooky considered a classic ballad?

Yes, Spooky is widely considered a classic ballad. Its timeless appeal and emotionally charged lyrics have solidified its place in the soul music genre. Many fans and music aficionados recognize it as a standout track that captures the essence of an era while remaining relevant to this day.

Has Spooky been featured in any films or TV shows?

Yes, Spooky has been featured in various films and TV shows over the years. Its haunting melody and evocative lyrics make it a popular choice for accompanying emotional and reflective scenes. Some notable appearances include the movies “Bend It Like Beckham” and “Twelfth Night.”

What other songs is Percy Sledge known for?

Percy Sledge is best known for his iconic song “When a Man Loves a Woman,” which became a timeless classic. His soulful vocals and heartfelt delivery earned him a special place in the hearts of music lovers worldwide. Other notable songs by Sledge include “Warm and Tender Love” and “Take Time to Know Her.”

Did Spooky achieve chart success?

While Spooky didn’t match the massive success of Percy Sledge’s previous hit, “When a Man Loves a Woman,” it still achieved respectable chart success. The song peaked at number 57 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1968, becoming a fan favorite and solidifying its place in music history.

How has Spooky influenced popular culture?

Spooky has had a lasting impact on popular culture. The song’s melancholic atmosphere and relatable themes have been referenced and sampled in various forms of media. Additionally, its popularity has contributed to the enduring legacy of Percy Sledge as a soul music icon.

What makes Spooky resonate with listeners even decades after its release?

Spooky’s enduring resonance can be attributed to its universal themes of love and heartbreak. The relatable emotions captured in the song, combined with the compelling melodies and vocals, continue to touch the hearts of listeners across generations. Its timelessness serves as a testament to the power of music to connect us all.

How has Spooky been received by music critics?

Spooky has received positive reviews from music critics. The song’s haunting melody, heartfelt lyrics, and Percy Sledge’s powerful vocals have been praised for their emotive qualities. Critics often highlight the song’s ability to evoke a strong emotional response and its impact within the soul music genre.

Does Spooky have any deeper meanings or interpretations?

Like any great song, Spooky can be open to various interpretations based on individual experiences and perspectives. While the lyrics primarily convey the pain of lost love, listeners may find personal meanings that resonate on a deeper level. The beauty of music lies in its ability to evoke different emotions and connections for different individuals.

What legacy does Spooky leave behind?

Spooky’s legacy lies in its ability to evoke raw emotions and connect with listeners on a profound level. Decades after its release, the song continues to be associated with soulful ballads and timeless love songs. Its impact within the music industry and popular culture cements its place as a beloved piece of musical history.

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Second Hand Songs - A Cover Songs Database

Spooky by Dusty Springfield

Visual from Spotify

How Can I Be Sure Single September 1970

Added by Bastien

  • Highlights 6
  • Versions 115
  • Adaptations 5
  • Web Covers 2

Spooky written by Harry Middlebrooks , Mike Sharpe instrumental

Spooky written by Buddy Buie , James Cobb English

Spooky instrumental

Hamppu-aave written by Chrisse Johansson Finnish

Outo tapa written by Edu Kettunen Finnish

Spooky written by [Unknown] Italian (not verified yet)

Spooky written by François Bégin , Michel Pagliaro French (not verified yet)

What is Halloween music – and why does it scare us?

"The Nightmare Before Christmas."

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Thanks for liking this song! We have added it to a personal playlist for you.

by Colleen Cowie

October 31, 2018

Growing up, Halloween was my least favorite holiday. As a kid (and to be honest, still as an adult) I was easily scared by almost anything. Having an entire day dedicated to the things that go bump in the night was like the embodiment of all my youthful nightmares— and one part of Halloween that always sent chills down my spine was its music. Years later, hearing the menacing laugh at the end of Michael Jackson's "Thriller," or the piercing strings in Psycho is enough to raise the hairs on the back of my neck. But what exactly is it about Halloween music that makes it so scary?

Last December, Vox published a video on Mariah Carey's "All I Want For Christmas Is You," analyzing just what makes the song sound so Christmassy. The video points to a specific chord used in "All I Want For Christmas Is You," the half-diminished (also known as minor 7 flat 5) built on the song's second scale degree. Vox explains that the same chord is used in various classic Christmas songs such as "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" and argues that it is the "secret sauce" that can make a Christmas song sound like Christmas.

While I found the video a tad click bait-y, and am not sure that you can boil down an entire genre to one chord, I was intrigued by its premise; uncovering what about the music itself can evoke a certain holiday. Sleigh bells and lyrical references to presents under the tree aside, what musical qualities evoke the spirit of Christmas? Inspired by this notion, I attempted to tackle the same question of Halloween: What musical qualities make a song a "Halloween song"?

What  is  a Halloween song?

Before I could delve into what makes a Halloween song sound Halloween-y, I first had to ask, What even is a "Halloween song"? I defined Halloween music as songs that are popular on or leading up to Halloween; the type of songs that would make it on Spotify's "Ultimate Halloween" playlist, or the tunes you would spin at a Halloween party. These songs don't have to be explicitly written about Halloween, they just have to be popular during that spooky time of year.

I used two main sources of data to identify popular Halloween music. My first data source was Billboard's lists of top Halloween songs from the past five years. These lists use a formula based on digital sales, radio airplay, and streaming, to determine which Halloween songs are most popular around the holiday each year.

To no surprise, Michael Jackson's "Thriller" snagged the number one spot for all five Billboard lists. Other popular songs included the novelty Halloween classic "Monster Mash" by Bobby "Boris" Pickett and the Crypt-Kickers, soundtrack titles like Ray Parker Jr.'s "Ghostbusters" and The Nightmare Before Christmas'  "This Is Halloween," rock anthems including AC/DC's "Highway to Hell" and Blue Oyster Cult's "Don't Fear the Reaper," as well as spooky-themed pop songs like "Demons" by Imagine Dragons and the Eminem/Rihanna collaboration, "Monster."

The New York Times also published an article summarizing trends in Spotify streaming activity around Halloween. The piece states that around two weeks before Halloween is when streaming activity in Halloween music begins to spike. Who listens to Halloween music? According to the data, Utah is the most popular state for Halloween music , most communities that stream Halloween music are predominately white, and the biggest demographic that listens to Halloween music are women in their 30s and 40s.

While the data provided a starting point, it didn't give me any clear consensus on what makes a song a Halloween song. The most popular Halloween songs as reported by Billboard and Spotify looked like a smorgasborg of musical genres and eras. Where did all of this music come from, and what classifies it as Halloween-appropriate? In search of answers, I dug into the history of Halloween and its musical trends.

Where does Halloween music come from?

Like the history of Halloween music, the history of the holiday itself is a bit unclear. Halloween originated from the Celtic festival Samhain, celebrated in ancient Britain and Ireland. The ancient Celts believed that Nov. 1 was the beginning of the new year, and that the night before, the souls of those who had died would revisit their homes. People would set bonfires to frighten away evil spirits and sometimes wore masks or other disguises to avoid being recognized by the spirits. In the eighth century, the Catholic Church moved All Saints Day (originally May 13) to Nov. 1, possibly in attempt to replace the Pagan holiday with a Catholic one.

In addition to exercising control over holidays, the Christian Church had strict rules pertaining to music. Although created centuries ago, these rules affect how Western audiences hear music today. The Church only allowed composers to use "pure" or "holy" intervals in music, like octaves and perfect fifths. Basically, anything that sounded unsettling wasn't allowed. One particularly unsettling interval is called the tritone, whose jarring sound earned it the nickname "the devil's interval." Rumor has it, the Church banned use of the tritone during the Renaissance.

Moving into the 20th century, one genre notorious for its connotations with evil spirits is the blues. Various factors contributed to the blues' popular association with the devil, including the genre's secular and often sexual lyrics, as well as the its melancholy themes reflecting the lived experiences of racial oppression. With songs like "Cross Road Blues" and "Me and the Devil Blues," Robert Johnson was rumored to have sold his soul to the devil in exchange for his musical talent. Johnson was part of the legacy of Delta blues musicians, artists from the South, whose music laid the groundwork for rock and roll.

One of the most defining musical characteristics of the blues is the blues scale, a musical scale which prominently features a flatted fifth, known as the blue note. When played on top of the scale's root, the blue note creates a tritone, the familiar crunchy interval that the Church associated with the devil.

The dissonance of the blue note, plus the "unholy" themes of blues music earned it the nickname, "the devil's music," and various popular Halloween songs like Screamin' Jay Hawkins' 1956 "I Put a Spell on You" come out of this blues legacy.

While spooky themes had been brewing in popular music for centuries, it wasn't until the 1950s and '60s that the U.S. saw a fad for Halloween-specific songs. "Starting somewhere in the mid to late '50s, and running through a good chunk of the '60s, every single band out there seemed like they had to have at least one Halloween-ish novelty song in their catalog," said The Current's resident Halloween aficionado, Brian Oake. 

The majority of these songs were from doo-wop groups, like the Verdicts, who released the 1961 song "Mummy's Ball." Other Halloween novelty songs from this era include the Hollywood Flames' "Frankenstein's Den" (1958) and of course, Bobby "Boris" Pickett and the Crypt-Kickers' "Monster Mash" (1962). These songs all feature Halloween-related subject matter, but in terms of their musical characteristics, are indistinguishable from other non-Halloween-related doo-wop songs.

According to Oake, these bands released Halloween songs in hopes of landing sought-after radio play in an era where radio was one of the only ways for artists to reach large audiences. Maybe the singles' straightforward doo-wop sound attempted to appease fans of the genre, while banking on the spooky lyrics to garner radio attention around Halloween.

After the doo-wop of the '50s and '60s, Halloween music broke into more ambiguous sub-categories. Sinister themes are common among the classic and hard rock anthems of the 1960s to 1980s, some of which have since been adopted as Halloween songs — like AC/DC's "Highway to Hell" and the Rolling Stones' "Sympathy for the Devil." These genres were born out of the legacy of the blues, and as such, feature blues notes and blues-inspired chord progressions.

Another category of music associated with Halloween is horror film soundtracks. The 1970s and 1980s gave rise to an explosion of horror films, including classic titles like  The Shining, The Exorcist,  and  Halloween.  These films created their own musical canon consisting of string and analog synthesizer-driven music. Horror and sci-fi movies of this era popularized the use of two unusual instruments, the theremin and ondes martenot, which were pivotal in creating otherworldly tones. Because of these trends, modern audiences may associate the electronic warble of a theremin or the buzz of an analog synth with the sounds of Halloween.

What musical techniques can make a song sound spooky?

Already, I was beginning to see some common musical characteristics of Halloween songs from exploring the genre's history. But I still wasn't satisfied— I hadn't yet found the "secret sauce" that could make a song sound like Halloween. In search of answers, I identified three potential musical qualities that could make a song sound Halloween-y.

An interval, which is the relationship between two notes, can be described as either consonant or dissonant. A consonant interval has a simple ratio of the frequency between its two notes, which creates a pleasing or “resolved” sound. For example, the ratio between the frequencies of a C and a G (an interval known as a perfect fifth) is 3:2; a simple, and therefore satisfying ratio. If the ratio is complex, the interval will be dissonant, giving it a “crunchy” or unsettling sound. 

As we know, the tritone is an especially unsettling interval, and for good reason— it has the most complex frequency ratio of any interval: 45:32 or 64: 45 depending on how it is tuned.

Although it is the most popular contemporary Halloween song, Michael Jackson's "Thriller" doesn't include many examples of dissonance. However, the end of the intro features a particularly crunchy chord, a fully diminished 7th, which includes a tritone between the notes C# and G (occurs at 0:34 in the clip).

This tritone creates tension, keeping the listener on the edge of their seat to hear what chord will come next. However, the following chord releases that tension, and the rest of the song is fairly consonant.

Instrumentation and Timbre

Over the years, certain musical instruments have gained a spooky reputation. A large reason for associations of certain instruments with scary themes comes from film soundtracks. Bach's "Toccata and Fugue in D Minor" was used in various silent films in the 1920's, and in 1931 was featured in the opening credits to the 1932 film  Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,  cementing the song's association with scaring audiences.

Many 20th century horror films feature large string arrangements, including the iconic 1960's horror flick,  Psycho . Classical Minnesota Public Radio host Steve Staruch remembers when Minnesota Orchestra conductor Sarah Hicks was rehearsing the music from the famous shower scene for her orchestra. Several European members of the orchestra had never seen the film, and were unfamiliar with its score.

"They were asking her about how to play this, and they were trying to make it as beautiful as possible, and she said, 'No, you don't understand, it's not beautiful.'" recounted Staruch. "It's like five minutes of pure aggression. The pitch isn't as important as the quality of the sound, the ugliness of the sound, and the out-of-mind quality; it's just not normal."

The strings from Psycho are an example of the importance of timbre in creating a spooky atmosphere. Timbre describes the quality of a sound. The notes that the violins are playing in the Psycho shower scene aren't all that important; what matters is that they are played with a shrill, grating timbre. The timbre of those stabbed violin notes is what makes Staruch describe the piece as "five minutes of pure aggression."

A key quality of many Halloween songs is a feeling of suspense. The sensation that there is someone behind your shoulder, that the monster you are hiding from can hear your stifled breathing.

Brian Oake identified this suspense as a key element of Halloween culture. "I don’t like the gore and the blood; that’s not what appeals to me," he said. "What I like is that slow, growing sense of unease and menace. For me, songs that do that for you, that create that atmosphere and push you out of your central comfort zone; for me that’s what Halloween is all about."

One technique used to create suspense in music is the repetition of a musical phrase. This repetition is called ostinato. One famous example of ostinato is the two repeated notes in the theme of Jaws .

Another example of ostinato is the repeated piano melody of John Carpenter's theme to Halloween .

So, what does Halloween really sound like?

What did I learn out of this extensive dive into Halloween music? Did I find the secret musical element that can make a song sound like Halloween? Not quite. As I realized, Halloween music is a somewhat ambiguous category, for several reasons.

Although there are songs associated with Halloween, the holiday's musical canon (or that of any other holiday) doesn't come close to the plethora of songs that surrounds Christmas. Maybe no other holiday is central enough to Western culture to garner that many thematic songs, or maybe Halloween is just too nebulous a holiday to have a well-defined genre of music surrounding it.

Even if Halloween is centered around themes of fright, folklore, and evil spirits, the concept of fear can be hard to pin down. What we perceive as scary is largely dependent on our culture. During the Renaissance, the Church told audiences to fear unstable intervals. In the 1960's  Psycho  frightened its listeners with the shrill stabs of violins.

What was once scary, can in retrospect seem cliché or campy. When first popularized in film soundtracks in the 1970's and '80s, the sounds of the theremin awed audiences with its extraterrestrial sound . Now, the electronic instrument has become a cliché for setting a supernatural or unsettling mood.

Maybe it is impossible to have a concrete and well-defined genre of Halloween songs, because as sounds age, they lose their fright-factor. If the unknown frightens us while the familiar makes us nostalgic or at ease, then music aiming to frighten us has to be constantly evolving to capture our attention.

Even though I didn't expect to unlock the secret chord to capturing the spirit of Halloween, I was initially a bit disappointed in my query's inconclusive results. But perhaps there is something exciting in this uncertainty. I don't know what the next decade of frightening music will bring, what menacing musical techniques lie on the horizon. Maybe I don't need to know which intervals or timbres will make my hair stand on end, I can simply revel in the sensation of goosebumps.

Colleen Cowie  runs the blog  Pass The Mic .

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Their new US hit of August 1979 was a song that had been very good to some of the group 11 years earlier.

Published on

Atlanta Rhythm Section - Photo: Courtesy of Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Some songs are locked in their era, while others update themselves and reach another generation. On August 11, 1979, the Atlanta Rhythm Section were hitting the American chart with a number that had been very good to some of the group 11 years earlier, and even that was an adaptation of an instrumental original. The word for all of that is “Spooky.”


The song was co-written by Mike Shapiro, who as pop-jazz alto saxophonist Mike Sharpe, recorded the tune for the Liberty label and reached No.57 with it in the US in 1967. Later that year, Jacksonville, Florida soft rock outfit Classics IV heard its potential.

Listen to uDiscover Music’s official Atlanta Rhythm Section Best Of playlist.

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Their guitarist James Cobb and producer Buddy Buie added lyrics, and the song climbed to No.3 on the Hot 100 in early 1968. That vocal interpretation inspired covers by many of the easy listening and soul acts of the day, notably Andy Williams, Dusty Springfield , Percy Sledge, and Martha & the Vandellas .


Fast forward a decade, by which point Cobb, Buie and fellow Classics IV graduate Dean Daughtry were longtime members of the highly successful Atlanta Rhythm Section. The initial appeal of the Doraville, Georgia group, said Rolling Stone in 1978, “came from its break with the often predictable Southern-rock genre: the band combined the usual guitar-solo orientation with an attractive pop sensibility.”

Plundering the past

Already with several years of hit singles and albums under their belt – including Top 10 hits with 1977’s “So Into You” and 1978’s “Imaginary Lover” – the ARS decided to revisit their past. They recorded a new version of the atmospheric “Spooky” for their Underdog album, which was already certified gold in America by the time it was released as a single. The group had just had another Top 20 hit with the first single from the LP, the pretty “Do It Or Die.”

ARS’ new “Spooky” entered the US chart at No.90. It spent two months making slow but steady progress up the Hot 100 and came to rest for two weeks at No.17 in October. It was the group’s final Top 20 American hit. Buy or stream “Spooky” on The Best of Atlanta Rhythm Section.

Richard Power

August 13, 2015 at 4:26 am

One small correction is needed: The Classics IV were from Jacksonville, Florida. ( there is no city in Florida named “Jackson”).

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Classics IV

song spooky wiki

About Spooky

"Spooky" was originally an instrumental song performed by saxophonist Mike Sharpe (Shapiro), written by Shapiro and Harry Middlebrooks Jr, which first charted in 1967 hitting #57 on the US pop charts. Its best-known version was created by James Cobb and producer Buddy Buie for the group Classics IV when they added lyrics about a "spooky little girl". The vocalist was Dennis Yost. The song is noted for its eerie whistling sound effect depicting the spooky little girl. It has become a Halloween favorite. In 1968, the vocal version reached #3 in the U. S. (Billboard Hot 100) and #46 in the UK.   more »

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song spooky wiki

The Classics IV were a 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 1967 to 1969, which have become cover standards. more »

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Know any other songs by classics iv don't keep it to yourself, image credit, the web's largest resource for, music, songs & lyrics, a member of the stands4 network, watch the song video, top hot 100 songs 1968, billboard #3, more tracks from the album, jukebox hits of 1968, vol. 2.

song spooky wiki

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Movies soundtrack

  • The Haunted Mansion   2003
  • Just Like Heaven   2005
  • Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels
  • Six Feet Under   2001



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Spooky! is the pop song from the episode " Haunted House Party! " It is mostly sung by Molly and Deema , with the other guppies as backup.

  • 1 Lyrics ( Bubble Guppies )
  • 2 Lyrics (Nick Jr. Promos)
  • 4 External links

Lyrics ( Bubble Guppies ) [ ]

Molly: Things that go bump, in the middle of the night Witches and bats and things that take flight Vampires, goblins, strange and bizarre Let's all go where the weird things are!! All:  Cause it's Spooky!  Please don't leave me alo-o-ne! Spooky, yeah! Chill to the bo-o-one! Spooky, got a tingle down my spine! Just hold my hand, and we'll be fine!! Molly: Things you can't see, lurk in the gloom Mummies wake up and come out of their tombs! Werewolves' growl, howl, and bark, so grab a flashlight, let's run around in the dark!! All:  Cause it's spooky! Please don't leave me alo-o-one! Spooky, yeah! Chill to the bo-o-one! Spooky! Got a tingle down my spine! Just hold my hand, and we'll be fine!! Deema : I wake up at night feeling funny and strange, something is happening, I'm starting to change! My hair is beginning to grow in weird ways, my eyes are bugged out, I look kind of crazed! I look in the mirror and get quite a fright – It seems I've become the Queen of the Night!! Aah-ah-ah-ah-ah-aaah!! All: Cause it's Spooky! Please don't leave me alo-o-one! Spooky, yeah! Chill to the bo-o-one! Spooky, got a tingle down my spine! Just hold my hand, and we'll be fine!! Mr. Grouper:  Spooky!

Lyrics (Nick Jr. Promos) [ ]

Molly: Things that go bump, In the middle of the night. Bot: Witches, and Bats And things that take flight. Tuck and Ming Ming: *screams* Milli: Vampires, Gobins, Strange, and Bizarre. Molly: Let's all go where the weird things are! Cause it's Spooky! Gil and Goby: Please don't leave me alo-o-ne! Bubble Puppy: Arf Arf! Team Umizoomi and Little Ghost: Spooky yeah! Molly: Chill to the bo-o-one! Molly and Milli: Spooky! Deema: Got a tingle down my spine! Molly: Just hold my hand! Molly and Dora: And we'll be fine! Uniqua: It's spooky in here! Tyrone: It certainly is! Molly: Things you can't see, Lurk in the gloom. Milli: Mummies wake up, And come out of their tombs. Dora: Werewolves growl, Howl and bark! Diego: So grab a flashlight, Let's run around in the dark! Deema: Cause it's spooky! Molly: Please don't leave me al-o-ne! Diego: Spooky yeah! Molly: Chill to the bo-o-one! Spooky! Geo: Got a tingle down my spine! Molly: Just hold my hand, And we'll be fine! Mr. Grouper: Spooky!

  • Molly , Gil , Deema , Goby , and Mr. Grouper ( Bubble Guppies )
  • Dora (Catlin Sanchez) and Diego ( Dora the Explorer / Go, Diego Go! )
  • Milli , Geo , and Bot ( Team Umizoomi )
  • The song was also used for Halloween 2013 and 2014, with new characters being added or replacing others (and in Dora's case updated) between years.
  • The style of the instrumental sounds similar, with it's synth noises, hand-claps and guitar.
  • Part of the dance from the "Thriller" music video is performed by the characters.
  • Deema has a rhyming section in the song similar to Vincent Price has in "Thriller"
  • Poor ghost was the only one not mentioned at all.
  • Deema's rhyming section is also a bit similar to Rockwell's song, "Somebody's Watching Me".

External links [ ]

  • Bubble Guppies Wiki: Spooky!
  • 2 The Casagrandes Movie
  • 3 Rock, Paper, Scissors


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  1. Spooky (Classics IV song)

    " Spooky " is originally an instrumental song performed by saxophonist Mike Sharpe (Shapiro), written by Shapiro and Harry Middlebrooks Jr, which first charted in 1967 hitting No. 57 on the US pop charts. [1]

  2. 'Spooky': The Story Behind Dusty Springfield's Halloween Classic

    Spooky Watch on Mike Shapiro, a saxophonist who went by Mike Sharpe, and Harry Middlebrooks Jr. initially wrote the song as an instrumental.

  3. Spooky by Classics IV

    Spooky by Classics IV Album: Spooky ( 1968) Charted: 46 3 License This Song lyrics Songfacts®: This song was originally an instrumental by the saxophone player Mike Shapiro, who recorded it as Mike Sharpe. J.R. Cobb, who was the band's lead guitarist, heard this song and added lyrics to it with their producer Buddy Buie.

  4. The Meaning Behind The Song: Spooky by Dusty Springfield

    Frequently Asked Questions 1. Who wrote the song "Spooky"? The song "Spooky" was written by Mike Shapiro and Harry Middlebrooks Jr., who were both session musicians and songwriters based in Nashville. 2. Who was the first artist to record "Spooky"? The Classics IV were the first to record "Spooky," and it was released as a single in 1967. 3.

  5. Atlanta Rhythm Section

    Atlanta Rhythm Section (or ARS) is an American Southern rock band formed in 1970 by Rodney Justo (singer), Barry Bailey (guitar), Paul Goddard (bass), Dean Daughtry (keyboards), Robert Nix (drums) and J. R. Cobb (guitar). [2]

  6. The Meaning Behind The Song: Spooky by Atlanta Rhythm Section

    1. Who wrote the song "Spooky"? "Spooky" was written by Mike Shapiro and Harry Middlebrooks Jr. The song was originally recorded by the Classic IV, but it gained widespread fame when the Atlanta Rhythm Section covered it in 1979. 2. What genre does "Spooky" belong to? "Spooky" falls under the genre of soft rock.

  7. The Meaning Behind The Song: Spooky by Percy Sledge

    Released in 1967, this soulful ballad tells a haunting tale of love and longing. The lyrics and melody combine to create a melancholic atmosphere that resonates with anyone who has experienced the pain of unrequited love or lost opportunities. But what is the true meaning behind this timeless song?

  8. Spooky

    Music Musicians Spooky (house music duo) Spookey (UK band), a 1970s soul band based in Manchester DJ Spooky, musician and producer Spookey Ruben, a singer and musician Albums Spooky (album), by Lush Songs "Spooky" (Classics IV song), by Mike Sharpe 1966, The Classics IV 1967, Dusty Springfield 1970, and Atlanta Rhythm Section 1979

  9. Classics IV

    At first you say no you've got some plans for tonight. And then you stop and say, "alright". Love is kinda crazy with a spooky little girl like you. [Verse 2] You always keep me guessing. I never ...

  10. Five Nights at Freddy's (song)

    Background and release. The song was created by the Israeli-American band the Living Tombstone, who had previously been involved in creating songs based on the My Little Pony franchise. After previously being involved in that franchise's fandom, producer Yoav Landau learned about the release of the horror game Five Nights at Freddy's in 2014, and the popularity it gained.

  11. Classics IV * Spooky 1967 HQ

    "Spooky" was originally an instrumental song performed by saxophonist Mike Sharpe (Shapiro), written by Shapiro and Harry Middlebrooks, Jr. which first charted in 1967 hitting #57 on the US pop...

  12. Cover versions of Spooky by Dusty Springfield

    Spooky by Dusty Springfield was written by Buddy Buie, James Cobb, Harry Middlebrooks and Mike Sharpe and was first released by Classics IV in 1967. Dusty Springfield released it on the single How Can I Be Sure in 1970. It was covered by Wanda Rivera, Anne Farnsworth, Debra Farris Band, Tok Tok Tok and other artists. It is sampled by Kara Marni.

  13. What is Halloween music

    Another category of music associated with Halloween is horror film soundtracks. The 1970s and 1980s gave rise to an explosion of horror films, including classic titles like The Shining, The Exorcist, and Halloween. These films created their own musical canon consisting of string and analog synthesizer-driven music.

  14. The story of a song: Spooky

    What is Spooky about? The protagonist gets a call from her partner, asking her to go to the movies. She initially says no but changes her mind and they go. Her partner is playful and mysterious, making it hard for her to know what he's thinking. Despite this, she loves him even though he's kind of spooky. If he decides to stop playing games ...

  15. Classics IV

    This is the version I remember listening to on the radio.

  16. 'Spooky': Atlanta Rhythm Section Revisit Their Past

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  17. Classics IV

    "Spooky" was originally an instrumental song performed by saxophonist Mike Sharpe (Shapiro), written by Shapiro and Harry Middlebrooks Jr, which first charted in 1967 hitting #57 on the US pop charts. Its best-known version was created by James Cobb and producer Buddy Buie for the group Classics IV when they added lyrics about a "spooky little ...

  18. Spooky!

    Spooky! is the pop song from the episode "Haunted House Party!"

  19. Dusty Springfield

    Mary Isobel Catherine Bernadette O'Brien OBE (16 April 1939 - 2 March 1999), better known by her stage name Dusty Springfield, was an English singer.With her distinctive mezzo-soprano sound, she was a popular singer of blue-eyed soul, pop and dramatic ballads, with French chanson, country, and jazz in her repertoire. During her 1960s peak, she ranked among the most successful British female ...

  20. Dusty Springfield

    I'm gonna tell you all the things my heart's been a-dyin' to be saying. Just like a ghost you've been a-hauntin' my dreams. But now I know. You're not what you seem. Love is kinda crazy with a ...

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    Provided to YouTube by Rhino/Warner RecordsSpooky · Dusty SpringfieldMusic From The Motion Picture Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels℗ 1970 Mercury Records ...

  23. Watch obscure Sesame Street characters perform "Born to Add"

    The song is called "Born to Add," and appears on an album ... of Disney and Goth culture with the now-classic "Haunted Bela," a mash-up of Bauhaus's "Bela Lugosi's Dead" with the spooky narration