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Dennis Yost | Classics IV singer, 65

Dennis Yost, 65, the lead singer with the rock group the Classics IV, which in the late 1960s and early '70s challenged the then-ascendant music of drugs and protest with a more laid-back, softer sound in Top 10 hits like "Spooky," "Stormy" and "Traces of Love," died Sunday in Hamilton, Ohio.

Dennis Yost, 65, the lead singer with the rock group the Classics IV, which in the late 1960s and early '70s challenged the then-ascendant music of drugs and protest with a more laid-back, softer sound in Top 10 hits like "Spooky," "Stormy" and "Traces of Love," died Sunday in Hamilton, Ohio.

Mr. Yost had been hospitalized since suffering a brain injury in a 2006 fall.

In an interview with the Tennessean in 2002, Mr. Yost called the Classics IV "the first soft-rock band." But this did not mean the band specialized in cheery, up-tempo pop: "Stormy," which reached No. 5 in 1968, and "Traces," which hit No. 2 in 1969, were downright melancholy.

- N.Y. Times News Service