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Spooky News

Spooky Podcast

So…..that spooky month of the year is coming up.  And I’ve been working on some tricks and treats for all of you.  I have a new cover song coming for the 60s/70s pop hit “Spooky” that I started working on back in the summer.  My cover is an instrumental smooth jazz version of the song.  It’s taken me this long because recording music is not my full-time job, even though I wish it was!  That means I have to squeeze into evenings and weekends and any other free time I can find all the steps required in the multi track recording process which are legion.

Anyway, earlier this year I got hooked on Spooky, which was a billboard hit for the group Classics IV and later for the Atlanta rhythm section. But it turns out the song was composed before either of those groups got their hands on it by a man by the name of Mike Shapiro and he sometimes went by Mike Sharpe.

Even though the vocal version of the song is well known, sung by Dennis Yost, and was a hit first for the group the Classics IV on their album, The Very Best of The Classics IV, released in 1968 and then again for the Atlanta Rhythm Section (ARS) in the late 1970s where it appeared on the album, Atlanta Rhythm Section – Underdog/Boys From Doraville, it’s roots actually go back before both of these versions to 1967 to its original saxophone instrumental recording by Mike Shapiro (aka Mike Sharpe) where it debuted on Mike’s album, “The Spooky Sounds of Mike Sharpe”.  It appears that album is no longer available, unless you find a used copy at a thrift store or online.


Per the Wikipedia entry, “Mike composed the tune along with help from Harry Middlebrooks and recorded the song at Liberty Records.  The Mike Sharpe version of Spooky peaked at #57 on the Billboard Pop Hot 100, which was pretty good for a Jazz group.  The Classics IV version of the song added lyrics which we all associate with the song and as a single it peaked at # 3 in the US as a pop single.  In 1979 ARS covered the song and released it on “Underdog”, and per the album’s entry on Wikipedia, “The album contained two songs which reached the top 20 of the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, “Do it or Die” and “Spooky“.[3]The latter was a re-recording of the 1968 number three hit for Classics IV, a pop rock group whose line up included members who later joined Atlanta Rhythm Section.[4]

Anyway, stay tuned later in October when I will announce my release of Spooky!

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DB-8 How to Hold the Bass

Watch The Video Lesson

This is lesson DB-8, How to Hold the Bass, and is a continuation of my journal of things I have learned as a beginning adult double bass student.

Unlike the bass guitar, or violin you don’t actually “hold” the double bass. It just stands there! Michael Klinghoffer has a nice video on the subject that was helpful to me. It all seems pretty simple and natural. As Kenny Werner says, you need to become one with your instrument. Once you have found a comfortable position, either standing or sitting, it will become second nature to you. On the other hand, if you want to get technical about it, Franz Simandl in his “New Method for the Double Bass” has this to say:

The Position of the Player
In taking his position next to the instrument, the player must stand in such a way that the weight of his body will be born principally by the left foot, the right foot being advanced for the distance of a short step, and in an outward direction. The body must be held as quietly as possible and in a perfectly upright manner. The instrument is placed in front to the left, in such a way that it will incline somewhat, but very slightly, in a backward direction towards the player, and allowing the back right edge of the instrument to fit into the left thigh of the player.

New CD Released – Give Us Peace

I am doing my part to bring some peace to the world. With so much negative news that we hear each day it’s time to promote peace. I am happy to announce today the release of my new CD – GIVE US PEACE!

You can NOW order it securely online at the CD Baby store website by clicking this link:

You can also buy individual tracks by way of the links on my music page.

Thanks and Peace!

How to Change Ford F-150 Top Hat Style Locking 4×4 Hubs

Just a quick and dirty (in more ways than one) little video on me replacing the manual locking 4×4 hub on a 1987 Ford F-150 pickup. I love this truck. But a little while ago one of the front brakes overheated and melted the locking dial on the driver side hub. These hubs are not available in the Ford parts distribution system, but fortunately I found a pair at Venture Truck Parts in Ogden, Utah. And, voila, I’ve got 4 wheel drive again to haul my bass and other gear around through the snow and mud!

DB-7 What Kind of Accessories Should I Get For the Bass?

Watch The Video Lesson

About Accessories for the Bass

This is lesson DB-7, “What Kind of Accessories Should I Get For the Bass?” and is a continuation of  my journal of things I have learned as a beginning adult double bass student.

OK…..What kind of accessories should I get?


I know this is a very subjective and passionate subject among many folks and I am certainly no expert.  All I can say at this point is that I know that each rosin is different and what works best for one person’s style and instrument may not work for another.  In the past year I […] Continue Reading…

DB-6 How to Tune the Double Bass

Here is what I’ve learned so far about how to tune the double bass.

 Watch The Video Lesson

About Tuning the Bass

This is lesson DB-6, “How to Tune a Double Bass” and is a continuation of  my journal of things I have learned as a beginning adult double bass student.


The strings on the bass are tuned in fourths: E1,  A1,  D1,  G2  Note:  The other orchestral string instruments, the violin, viola and cello are tuned in fifths.  Also some bassists use an “extension” on the E string to drop the tuning down to a C1 and some bassist use a 5 string bass with the lowest string […] Continue Reading…


Hi everyone

It’s been a warm and busy spring and summer for me and I hope yours has been good too. 🌞😎

Between playing double bass in the Evergreen Community Orchestra (ECO) and saying yes to a request to play in the orchestra for the musical Camelot, I played eight concerts in 5 weeks time.  🎻👍😆  The next concert for ECO will be at the Imagine Children’s Museum in downtown Everett on Saturday August 1st at 1:00 pm, located at 1502 Wall St, Everett, WA.

The golf links have been calling my name too so I have spent some time chasing a tiny white ball […] Continue Reading…

Ringtones for iPhones

I added a couple of new ringtones to my music store page.  Now you can rock your phone with ringtones from Nacho Mama or the Sunflower Waltz and make all your friends ask where you got such cool ringtones.

My ringtones are available in the iTunes ringtone format with an .m4r filename extension.  After you purchase a ringtone and download it, next you will have to send it to iTunes. Just open iTunes and drag and drop your ringtone into iTunes and the ringtone will appear under iTunes’ Tones heading in the Library pane.

Sync your iPhone to your Mac or PC and the ringtone will be […] Continue Reading…

David Carroll: Glen Campbell And The Power Of Music –

Awesome article about Glen Campbell and his struggle with Alzheimer’s.
I’ve just watched an amazing film, and I hope you will too, if you haven’t already.  It’s called “I’ll Be Me” and it documents Glen Campbell’s descent into the twilight: Alzheimer’s Disease.
Source: David Carroll: Glen Campbell And The Power Of Music –

Digital Underground : The Record : NPR

There is a wealth of music, along with music-related artifacts and conversation, on the Internet, but the companies that control these vast resources don’t always prioritize permanence.
Source: Digital Underground : The Record : NPR

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