Question about "Spooky" by the Classics IV

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JSAXL

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Aug 13, 2004, 11:25:38 PM8/13/04
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Hi, does anyone know who played the sax solo on "Spooky." Some people,
including Mike who lives in Atlanta, say it was Mike Sharp Shapiro.

#3 SPOOKY-CLASSICS IV-MIKE (SHARP) SHAPIRO-TENOR

Once the group signed with The Lowery Music Group out of Atlanta, Georgia and
Capitol records, The Classics IV re-recorded “Spooky.” The song was
originally an instrumental regional hit by Mike Sharp, a talented saxophone
player. J.R. Cobb and producer Buddy Buie added lyrics to it and the rest is
history.

#####################################

However, Jim Pepper's name has surfaced as follows on a message board;

"here's the quote from --------------(name withheld by me), Anchorage Alaska:
"Yes, Jim Pepper is the soloist on Spooky by the Classics IV, which is actually
a pretty well-known fact. I'm surprised that there's any controversy, frankly.
Jim and I talked about it, and he laughed while looking back. It's not the only
pop/rock related connection, either. Brewer and Shipley, Harper's Bizarre and
Everything is Everything (among many others) covered Witchi-Tai-To."

This suggestion is also stated in a web page;

http://www.inmotionmagazine.com/siegel.html

Thanks
John L

Alastair Ingram

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Aug 14, 2004, 12:10:28 AM8/14/04
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"JSAXL" <js...@aol.com> wrote in message
news:20040813232538...@mb-m28.aol.com...
Hi John, I'm a big fan of Jim Pepper's music and that sax player on Spooky
sounds nothing like Jim Pepper. Thanks for the link, it is interesting
reading.


Alastair Ingram
www.saxlessons.com


JSAXL

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Aug 14, 2004, 6:53:11 AM8/14/04
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Alastair, thanks for your note. I am not familar with Pepper's playing at all
and no one ever questioned this song before so I thought that someone might
shed some light on the issue.

During the past 4 years of gathering info for the book I have had several names
questioned so I am still trying to give credit to the correct player.
Unfortunatelty Jim is apparently no longer around to help us with the question.

John L

Paul Lanfermeijer

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Aug 14, 2004, 2:58:30 PM8/14/04
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"JSAXL" <js...@aol.com> schreef in bericht
news:20040814065311...@mb-m22.aol.com...

John,
I always had the name of Mike Sharp in my head and at the transcription of
the saxsolo in Spooky (I once received from Curtis Swift from
http://www.saxsolos.com/ ) is also the name of Mike Sharpe.
Did he not move to the Atlantha Rhytme Section after the succes of Spooky?
BTW: I missed your first posting about this subject.
Greetings from The Netherlands,
paul

JSAXL

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Aug 15, 2004, 11:12:32 AM8/15/04
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Hi Paul, yes that seems to be the name that has been associated with the song.
He did go with ARS as I recall and he still resides it Atl.

I sent an email to the Classics IV web site. Perhaps someone will respond.

John L

Paul

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Aug 16, 2004, 4:37:20 AM8/16/04
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John,
I'm interested in the answer while I'm trying to play that solo!

BTW: I still did not order your book on CD: shame on me! Can you mail
me with the info about that: don't have the info anymore, sorry!

Greetings,
paul

JSAXL

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Aug 16, 2004, 6:17:19 AM8/16/04
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Paul, check your mail. Glad to help.

John L

UK a

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Aug 16, 2004, 9:58:45 PM8/16/04
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John

When I transcribed the solo a few years back, I ran into the same
problem. I remember making a few phone calls and surely came to you
for advice first. It was a while ago so I can't remember all that
went into it, but Mike Sharpe's name came up. I can't say that I am
100% sure it was Mike, but it was better that putting a totally worng
name or anonymous. I wish I could be of more help.

Curtis Swift
www.saxsolos.com

JSAXL

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Aug 16, 2004, 10:59:09 PM8/16/04
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Hi Curtis, that is why I want to confirm who played the solo.

Pepper's name recently reappeared on SOTW after someone had requested the name
of the sax player on all of their hits several weeks ago. Look under Rock &
Roll Saxophone; "Spooky...does Jim Pepper play the solo on Classics IV hit?"
posting.

http://forum.saxontheweb.net/

I called Charles King (Mike's friend and repairman in Atlanta) today and asked
if Pepper's name had ever come up in the Atlanta area as being the soloist.
Charles had not ever heard the name Jim Pepper and said that he would call Mike
to see if he had ever heard of the name.

I sent an email to Dennis Yost's agent years ago about the names but Dennis
could not recall who played other than English who later joined them for road
tours.

I ran into this issue several times over the past 4 years while doing the
research for the book. Some players claimed to be the soloist but we confirmed
that it was someone else. For those songs that are still up in the air I put
both names with a question mark to be on the safe side.

Charles has known Mike for many years and no one in Atlanta has ever questioned
that Mike was the player on "Spooky." It also seems strange that Mike would be
known for the solo, lives in the area and around the studio, etc. Why would he
make up such a story? It's too close to home.

But to be fair and on the safe side I have added Jim's name to the book and
have indicated the web pages that contain the statements that he played the
solo;

http://www.inmotionmagazine.com/pepper.html

http://www.inmotionmagazine.com/siegel.html

http://tools.search.yahoo.com/language/translation/translatedPage.php?tt=u
rl&text=http%3a//www.jazzpoint.at/chronik/jim_pepper.4.php&lp=de_en


Curtis, I really believe that you can leave Mike's name on your chart for now.
If I hear anything that confirms the name of the soloist I will post it.

John L


ansermetniac

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Aug 16, 2004, 11:21:36 PM8/16/04
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Questions

1) What piece does Mike Play
2) What piece does Pepper play? Before he died he bought a metal link
from me.


The Classics IV solos were always done with a rubber piece

Abbedd
______________
E.A.F.E.

Alastair Ingram

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Aug 17, 2004, 1:03:58 AM8/17/04
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"ansermetniac" <anserm...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:cau2i0d0sq7de4a5m...@4ax.com...
I would be interested in how you know this. BTW, alto or tenor? :-)


ansermetniac

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Aug 17, 2004, 2:53:35 AM8/17/04
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It is quite clear when you listen to the records. 27 years of
designing mouthpieces helps too.

Abbedd


______________
E.A.F.E.

Alastair Ingram

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Aug 17, 2004, 5:29:05 AM8/17/04
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"ansermetniac" <anserm...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:jma3i01bl6o2vl99q...@4ax.com...

Yeah,......right. That is the non answer that I expected.
Y.A.F.O.S.


JSAXL

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Aug 17, 2004, 6:04:53 AM8/17/04
to
Just to recap what our research has found to date;

1968

#3-SPOOKY-CLASSICS IV-MIKE (SHARP) SHAPIRO-TENOR


Once the group signed with The Lowery Music Group out of Atlanta, Georgia and
Capitol records, The Classics IV re-recorded "Spooky." The song was originally
an instrumental regional hit by Mike Sharp, a talented saxophone player. J.R.
Cobb and producer Buddy Buie added lyrics to it and the rest is history.

Mike Shapiro recorded albums for Liberty Records under the name Mike Sharp: The
Spooky Sound of Mike Sharp (pick hit on Billboard), Sharpest Sax (sub title The
Many Moods of Mike Sharp) and Mystic Light. He also played the solos on the
following Classic IV records: Soul Train-tenor, Where Did All The Good Times
Go-alto, Midnight-alto, and Time For Love-alto. Mike Sharp resides in Atlanta,
Georgia.

However, there are three web sites that credit Jim Pepper as the soloist;

http://www.inmotionmagazine.com/pepper.html

http://www.inmotionmagazine.com/siegel.html

http://tools.search.yahoo.com/language/translation/translatedPage.php?tt=u
rl&text=http%3a//www.jazzpoint.at/chronik/jim_pepper.4.php&lp=de_en


#5-STORMY-CLASSICS IV(DENNIS YOST)-RAY JARRELL-ALTO
MIKE (SHARP) SHAPIRO wrote the solo for STORMY but was not availiable the day
they did the final cut per Mike's friend, Charles A. King.


1969

#19-EVERYDAY WITH YOU GIRL-CLASSICS IV (DENNIS YOST)-MIKE (SHARP) SHAPIRO-ALTO


#2-TRACES-CLASSICS IV (DENNIS YOST)-RAY JARREL-TENOR
Ray Jarrel passed away in the late 1990s, says Mike Clark of Southern Track
Studio. Ray was a member of Billy Joe Royal's band.

John L
"The History of Top 40 Saxophone Solos-1955-2004"

Bill Barner

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Aug 17, 2004, 8:58:38 AM8/17/04
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Here are 2 postings I made to the Jim Pepper/Spooky discussion on the All
About Jazz bulletin board:

"... I listened to Spooky yesterday and it doesn't sound like Pepper's
tone to me. I've done some Googling. Though I didn't find a real answer to
the question, I did find a little history of the Classics IV and an obit of
the recording engineer for the song--a man named Richardson who died in
2003. (http://www.gamusichall.com/bobrichardson.html)
It appears that Spooky was recorded in Atlanta, Georgia in 1967. Could
Pepper have been there at that time? Here's a website for the band's singer,
Dennis Yost: http://crystalhorizon.com/Classics_IV/Home_Main.htm. I emailed
the question to the site. I'll let you know if I get a reply."
And:
"Here's the response to my question about the sax solo on "Spooky" I got
from the Classics IV website:

"His name was Michael Shapiro (also co-wrote the song,) He had a minor hit
with the instrumental version a year before The Classics IV put theirs out.
He used the name Mike Sharpe on the records.

Joe G""

I don't know who Joe G is.

"UK a" <nospam...@weir.net> wrote in message
news:o8p2i0567d9t2ovc5...@4ax.com...

sam skelton

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Aug 17, 2004, 9:12:21 AM8/17/04
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I live in atlanta and grew up in the town next to where one of the
co-writers of spooky lives. (J.R. Cobb). There seems to be no
question around here that it was Mike Shapiro.

Sam


js...@aol.com (JSAXL) wrote in message news:<20040813232538...@mb-m28.aol.com>...

ansermetniac

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Aug 17, 2004, 9:37:59 AM8/17/04
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On Tue, 17 Aug 2004 09:29:05 GMT, "Alastair Ingram"
<nos...@sbcglobal.net> wrote:

Just because you can't tell the difference between rubber and brass on
a recording does not make me FOS.
You are a disrespectful ignorant chap

You are a player . I am a design/manufacturing enginner and
acoustician

Abbedd
______________
E.A.F.E.

Bill Barner

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Aug 17, 2004, 3:53:27 PM8/17/04
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"Bill Barner" <bba...@cox.net> wrote in message
news:cfsve0$67is$1...@rs7.loc.gov...

> Here are 2 postings I made to the Jim Pepper/Spooky discussion on the All
> About Jazz bulletin board:
>
> "... I listened to Spooky yesterday and it doesn't sound like Pepper's
> tone to me. I've done some Googling. Though I didn't find a real answer to
> the question, I did find a little history of the Classics IV and an obit
of
> the recording engineer for the song--a man named Richardson who died in
> 2003. (http://www.gamusichall.com/bobrichardson.html)
> It appears that Spooky was recorded in Atlanta, Georgia in 1967. Could
> Pepper have been there at that time? Here's a website for the band's
singer,
> Dennis Yost: http://crystalhorizon.com/Classics_IV/Home_Main.htm. I
emailed
> the question to the site. I'll let you know if I get a reply."
> And:
> "Here's the response to my question about the sax solo on "Spooky" I
got
> from the Classics IV website:
>
> "His name was Michael Shapiro (also co-wrote the song,) He had a minor hit
> with the instrumental version a year before The Classics IV put theirs
out.
> He used the name Mike Sharpe on the records.
>
> Joe G""
>
> I don't know who Joe G is.
>
Here's something posted to rec.music.rock-pop-r+b.1960s back in 1998:
"About two years before The Classics IV's "Spooky" came out, musicians
Mike
Shapiro and Harry Middlebrooks penned the instrumental version, with Mike on
saxaphone and Harry on organ. It was then recorded at The LeFevre Sound
Studio in Atlanta. It did well regionally, but then faded. Guitarist J.R.
Cobb (Classics IV) and producer Buddy Buie, who were working for the same
publishing company, Lowery Music, heard the tune and decided to put words to
it. The song was re-recorded with Mike Shapiro (Sharpe) returning to lay
down
the saxaphone track. The rest is history. In fact, most of The Classics IV
sax solos feature Shapiro.

Joe Glickman
(producer of the documentary "Traces of Love: The Story of The Classics IV")
"


JSAXL

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Aug 17, 2004, 5:23:23 PM8/17/04
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Bill, many thanks!!

John L

JSAXL

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Aug 17, 2004, 5:25:44 PM8/17/04
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Bill, send an email to me. I want to add this info to the book and your name to
the "thanks" page.

John L

JSAXL

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Aug 17, 2004, 8:51:12 PM8/17/04
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Sam, thanks. I agree. I spoke to Charles today. He called Mike last night and
they feel that Jim Pepper probably mentioned something about the song years ago
and it was misunderstood and restated out of context.

John L

Joe G

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Aug 17, 2004, 11:01:40 PM8/17/04
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HERE'S THE TRUTH YOU'VE ALL BEEN WAITING FOR:

This is Joe G. (Joe Glickman) I am the biographer on The Classics IV
and their archivist. I started a documentary on the group about 7
years ago and travelled around the country gathering over 30
interviews with producers, writers, session musicians and band members
of The Classics IV. I can say with 100% CERTAINTY that Mike Shapiro IS
the sax player on SPOOKY. By the way, 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. Now, I've interviewed on video: Buddy Buie (producer/writer),
J.R. Cobb (guitarist/writer), Dennis St. John (session drummer), Emory
Gordy, Jr. (session bass player), Wally Eaton (session cowbell and
whistler - road bass player), Bill Lowery (producer/publisher), Dennis
Yost (lead singer) as well as Mike Shapiro himself. They were all at
the session and played on the entire "Spooky" album. All of them told
me that Mike Shapiro recorded the sax solo and Mike remembers, too. It
doesn't get much more conclusive than that.

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.

The only reason I can figure a few sites credit Jim Pepper is because
one started it and the others follow. Try checking the internet and
some fairly accredited recording publications, like ROLLING STONE, and
ALL MUSIC GUIDE, and they all credit Wally Eaton on rhythm guitar and
Joe Wilson on bass. WRONG! Wally was the bass player and Joe Wilson
played keyboards. They only played their true instruments on their
very first records on the Capitol Label and also contributed other
instrumentation in the studio for the hits, but they were the touring
band and the ORIGINAL Classics IV members.

There are SEVERAL people who have claimed to have recorded the sax
solo on "Spooky." I still get e-mails from fans who bump into these
nut jobs. I don't know how someone can take credit for something they
didn't do, but I'm sure after a while they start believing their own
lies. There was a fake CLASSICS IV that I had to fight to get the
trademark back from a few years ago (and did, successfully) so they're
out there....I just don't understand it and I won't try. Whoever that
is that said Jim "laughed while looking back" on recording "Spooky"
probably should know that Jim was laughing because the guy was buying
his made-up story. Jim Pepper did NOT record "Spooky." PERIOD. And if
anyone that represents him wants to challenge me on that - BRING IT
ON.

Oh - Um....Have a nice day everybody else. Hope that helped!

Joe Glickman
www.classicsiv.com


s...@samskelton.com (sam skelton) wrote in message news:<8814c5c9.04081...@posting.google.com>...

KelleherEJ

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Aug 18, 2004, 2:04:05 AM8/18/04
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Hi, does anyone know who played the sax solo on "Spooky?" Some people,

>including Mike who lives in Atlanta, say it was Mike Sharp Shapiro.
>Thanks
>John L

John:

According to the following website, Mike Sharp recorded Spooky in 1967 followed
by Dennis Yost in 1968. Both recordings were by the Classics IV.

http://www.allbutforgottenoldies.net/classics-iv-featuring-dennis-yost.html>

Ed Kelleher

JSAXL

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Aug 18, 2004, 7:00:58 AM8/18/04
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Joe, we really appreciate it. It is good to set the records straight and give
credit where credit is due.

I also thank the contributers for helping to bring this to rest!

John L

Joe G

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Aug 18, 2004, 9:06:43 PM8/18/04
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By the way, Mike Shapiro recorded under the name Mike Sharpe because
Shapiro wasn't Gentile enough for the recording industry at the time.
That is a comment made by Buddy Buie to me. Shapiro played at The
Houndstooth in Atlanta with Harry Middlebrooks early on and Emory
Gordy, Jr and Dennis St. John both played on Mike's instrumental
version, as well as The Classics IV's, which came out nearly a year
before The Classics IV's version. Mike Sharpe recorded on the same
label, but at a studio down the road from Lowery's. Buie and Cobb
heard the instrumental and added lyrics to it. The rest is history.
That's the story.

Joe Glickman
Classics IV Biographer

kelle...@aol.com (KelleherEJ) wrote in message news:<20040818020405...@mb-m23.aol.com>...

JSAXL

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Aug 18, 2004, 10:46:49 PM8/18/04
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Thanks Joe!

John L

Great Sax

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May 30, 2021, 4:26:48 PM5/30/21
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On Wednesday, August 18, 2004 at 10:46:49 PM UTC-4, JL wrote:
> Thanks Joe!
> John L
ALTO SAX or TENOR SAX?? Which one did he play on Spooky??
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