The 'In' Crowd

Album: Dobie Gray Sings for "In" Crowders That Go "Go-Go" (1964)
Charted: 25 13
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • In one of his biggest hits, Dobie Gray sings about the perks of being a member of a popular crowd in the swinging '60s and shows the high school clique mentality is not a new phenomenon. He boasts that he knows all the latest dances and the hottest spots, he speaks a cool language that only the elite will understand, and he gets respect when he walks down the street. Near the end of the song, we learn he's trying to get a girl to go out with him based on his popular status.
  • Written by Billy Page, this was often mistaken for a Motown number thanks to Page's brother, Gene Page, who infused the arrangement with a lively orchestration, including a full brass section. Indeed, Gene was known for working his magic on many Motown hits for acts like The Supremes and The Temptations.
  • Also in 1964, the Ramsey Lewis Trio recorded a live instrumental version at Bohemian Caverns, a Washington, D.C. nightclub. The jazzy cover peaked at #5 on the US pop chart.
  • Bryan Ferry recorded a hit version (#13 UK) for his 1974 album Another Time, Another Place.
  • This was featured in the 1995 Martin Scorsese drama Casino. It was also included in the 1988 musical drama The In Crowd, starring Donovan Leitch Jr. and Joe Pantoliano.
  • Cheap Trick covered this in 2016 for their Bang, Zoom, Crazy... Hello album. Bassist Tom Petersson explained to Uncut: "We used to play to play it in clubs. We were doing it a few years ago in soundchecks, I think I started playing it and it all went from there. Someone came up to us and said, 'Oh my God, that's great!' So this time I said, 'Why don't we do this song?'"

Comments: 2

  • Tom from Marietta, Oh"Other guys imitate us, but the original is still the greatest" may be one of the most brilliant "near-rhymes" in all of music.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn January 23, 1965, Dobie Gray performed "The 'In' Crowd" on the Dick Clark ABC-TV Saturday-afternoon program, 'American Bandstand'...
    At the time the song was at position #38 on Billboard's Top 100 chart, four weeks later it would peak at #13 {for 1 week} and it spent nine weeks on the Top 100...
    It reached #11 on Billboard's Hot R&B Singles chart and #25 on the United Kingdom's Singles chart...
    Later in 1965 the Ramsey Lewis Trio released an instrumental version; their version peaked at #5 on the Top 100...
    And on the same 'Bandstand' show he also performed "Look At Me", it was his debut charted record and two years earlier on January 6th, 1963 it entered the Top 100 for a two week stay, and for both those weeks it was at position #91...
    Between 1963 and 1978 the Texas native had eight records on the Top 100 chart, one made the Top 10, "Drift Away", it peaked at #5 {for 1 week} on May 6th, 1973...
    Mr. Gray, born Lawrence Darrow Brown, passed away at the age of 71 on December 6th, 2011...
    May he R.I.P.
    Personal note: My favorite record by Dobie was "Loving Arms", and I still can't believe it only reached #61 in 1973.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Eagles Lyrics Quiz

Eagles Lyrics QuizMusic Quiz

Lots of life lessons in these Eagles lyrics - can you match them to the correct song?

The Untold Story Of Fiona Apple's Extraordinary Machine

The Untold Story Of Fiona Apple's Extraordinary MachineSong Writing

Fiona's highly-anticipated third album almost didn't make it. Here's how it finally came together after two years and a leak.

Grateful Dead Characters

Grateful Dead CharactersMusic Quiz

Many unusual folks appear in Grateful Dead songs. Can you identify them?

The Punk Photography of Chris Stein

The Punk Photography of Chris SteinSong Writing

Chris Stein of Blondie shares photos and stories from his book about the New York City punk scene.

Meshell Ndegeocello

Meshell NdegeocelloSongwriter Interviews

Meshell Ndegeocello talks about recording "Wild Night" with John Mellencamp, and explains why she shied away from the spotlight.

Lori McKenna

Lori McKennaSongwriter Interviews

Lori's songs have been recorded by Faith Hill and Sara Evans. She's performed on the CMAs and on Oprah. She also has five kids.