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Venable was a local music star

By Michael Butler

Not many recording artists enjoy commercial success. Kim Venable was one of the few who basked in the limelight, and he was a Tallassee High School graduate. Last week, Venable passed away. He was 72.

Venable was born in Eclectic. He played drums with the Classics IV in the late 1960s. The group produced the singles, "Spooky," "Stormy" and "Traces," each reaching the Top 10 on the Billboard Music Charts.

Venable commented in a WTLS radio interview last year about the Classics IV's heyday. ""Stormy" and "Spooky" were on the same tape that our representatives shopped to every record company in the business. Every record company in the business turned it down. When you turn your radio on and go across the dial and you get your song about three or four times, it's a hit."

Venable (back row, left) with the Classics IV

The Classics IV played for Johnny Carson on the "Tonight Show" three times.

"Johnny was focused," Venable said. "He wasn't stuck up. He was nice to us."

Venable and a few other Tallassee guys; Tommy Mann and Ray Goss, created the group the K-Otics. The band recently reunited for a 50th anniversary re-release of their hit song, "Double Shot (Of My Baby's Love).

"We got enthused again," said Venable. "We were asked to play at the VFW Club (last) summer for the Wounded Warriors Project. We hadn't played together in 47 years."

A memorial service for Venable was held on Wednesday at Jeffcoat-Trant Funeral Home. Donations may be made to:

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