“I got a scan of the wrong side of the album…and a rock…
Listen/Download -Mike Sharpe – Spooky
Despite the surplus of real world activity in my life these days, I am approaching the Halloween season prepared (unlike previous years) on both blog fronts.
Though I’ve never been what you might describe as gung-ho about this particular holiday, I have always seen it as an opportunity for fun, monster movie fan that I am (and by that I am referring to monster films of the old school, not the current wave of mutilation porn that passes for horror cinema), and since the inception of the blog, part of that fun is tracking down and whipping some Halloween grooves on you good people.
This year both of the new selections you’ll be hearing this week made their way into my crates thanks to my man in the YOU-KAY Mister Tony C.
Not too long ago Tony said that he had picked up the Mike Sharpe 45 ‘Break Through’ and that I might be interested in the flipside, a version of the Classics IV tune ‘Spooky’. I had heard of ‘Break Through’ before via the mod soul crowd (and a couple of Northern Soul set lists), and set out in search of my own copy. I wasn’t able to grab a copy of the (more expensive) 45, but I did find a clean copy of the LP, so I grabbed it.
Though I’ve been DJ-ing as part of an all-5 night for years, I like to grab soul/funk LPs where I can find them because I love discovering cool, LP-only tracks (and the Sharpe album had a few of those).
I started to do a little research and much to my surprise I discovered that Mike Sharpe (real last name Shapiro) was an Atlanta-area sax player/songwriter who had actually composed and recorded the original (instrumental) version of ‘Spooky’. It was picked up by the Classics IV’s manager Buddy Buie and guitarist Jimmy Cobb who laid some lyrics on the tune, it was recorded by the band and became their first big hit (spawning countless cover versions on almost as many genres). Sharpe played the sax solo on the hit version of ‘Spooky’ as well as a number of other Classics IV hits.
Sharpe’s OG ‘Spooky’ features a backing of an unusual sounding organ, vocal chorus and of course his saxophone in the lead. It compares favorably with the better known version and was itself a regional hit.
Sharpe went on to record a few more albums for Imperial. I’ll make sure to post ‘Break Through’ some time in the future.
I hope you dig the tune, and I’ll be back on Wednesday with something a little heavier.
Check out the Funky16Corners Store at Cafe Press