High School Yearbook Photo

"More than a place, the Shady Dell was and will forever remain a state of mind." - Shady Del Knight

"More than a place, the Shady Dell was and will forever remain a state of mind." - Shady Del Knight

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Here We A-Go-Go Again: Out on the Floor and "In" with the Crowd!

45 years ago today...this was rockin' you!

While the late 80s movie The In Crowd was based on Jerry Blavat and his TV dance show, the title song recorded by Dobie Gray seemed like it was made with me in mind. Oh, alright...maybe it was a stretch for me to claim way back at the beginning of 1965 that I was in with the "in" crowd, but records like this sure made me want to be; and by later that year when I became a card carrying member of the Dell rat pack I surely felt like I was.

As Charger 105 galloped into the top 40 on the Billboard chart in late January on its way to a #13 finish, the song it carried, “The 'In' Crowd,” fired my imagination like few songs have ever been able to do, tapping into my adolescent craving for excitement, adventure, and peer group acceptance.

A veritable Pied Piper, Dobie Gray beckoned me on with promises of endless thrills and effortless romance - benefits that were seemingly reserved exclusively for members of his mythical "in" crowd. Listening to the song made me determined to become a globetrotting jet setter or maybe even a spy for the F.B.I. - yeah, that's the ticket!

Although Dobie Gray achieved a bigger hit a few years later with “Drift Away,” his earlier calling card, “The 'In' Crowd” is, most definitely, Shady Del’s Pick To Click!

Mama...welcome to the mid 60s!

It was a great time to be young. In the 1960s, much more than in previous decades, the youth market became the focus of the mass media. Television programs geared to teenage tastes were rushed into production to cash in on the post-Beatles youth craze.

Shows like Hullabaloo (and Hullabaloo London), Shindig, and Where the Action Is began springing up like weeds, along with concert films and rockumentaries like the T.A.M.I. Show (Teenage Awards Music International aka Teen Age Music International) and the Big T.N.T. Show.

It seemed like everything was coming my way and everything was going my way. I felt lucky to be a kid. It was great to be alive in '65!

Here's Dobie Gray performing "The 'In' Crowd" on an episode of Hullabaloo hosted by Frankie and Annette!


"The 'In' Crowd" is a great song and The In Crowd is a great movie. Both are stupendous as the bombastic Geator with the Heater might say.

Among those fortunate few who have seen the movie there is tacit agreement: The In Crowd is a family friendly teen musical with a heart - sophisticated, funny and thoroughly entertaining. Plaudits notwithstanding there is definitely something wrong with this picture when fans of this groovy movie are required to purchase worn out, beat up VHS copies on eBay while vastly inferior trash is being rush released on DVD!

Shhhhhhhhhh...I'll let you in on a little secret. It's all about money. (Ya think?) The corporations don't care what kind of rubbish they inflict on the American public as long as it's profitable. On the flip side of the coin they don't care how good a movie is, they won't release it unless they believe it will be profitable. If you're wondering why trash movies are selling like hot cakes let me remind you that junk entertainment like junk food is habit forming. You develop a taste for sugar, salt and fat. You keep craving it and you keep buying it. You can break the cycle by cleansing the palate and giving your taste buds a chance to get used to and appreciate more nutritious fare.

Admittedly, The In Crowd has become available on DVD in recent years, but we're talking brand X tape to DVD-R transfers. You might as well buy a burner and make your own dub! You could also watch the movie in bits and pieces on YouTube, but let's get serious. Orion Pictures is owned by MGM. I don't know who's in charge of green lighting DVD releases from the corporate library but whoever it is needs to get on the swizzle stick, recognize that they are sitting on a true teen angst classic, and expeditiously roll out The In Crowd on DVD...preferably in our lifetime! Oh, and while you're at it, mister businessman or mizz businesswoman, make sure you load it up with special features like cast interviews, bios, bonus BTS footage, the making of featurette, and all the other obligatory extras that you just had to include in the unrated widescreen HD director's cut of Mean Teen 13...okay, pal?

The point is, ladies and gentlemen, that greed...for lack of a better lack of a better word! And so I declare that the person or persons unknown who consistently overlook The In Crowd for DVD release are tonight's.....


Have a Shady day and as a very close personal friend of mine mister Jerry Blavat always said, "keep on rockin' coz you only rock once!"

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