Song:The In Crowd
Album:The Greatest Hits of Ramsey Lewis
Jazz pianist Ramsey Lewis scored a top five hit with The In Crowd in 1965. He has had a few other hits but that is the most memorable. He was born May 27, 1935 in Chicago. As a teen, he formed The Cleffs with bassist Eldee Young and drummer Red Holt and they would become The Ramsey Lewis Trio. They signed with Chess in 1956 and recorded for Argo. There's nothing unusual about their music. They are a standard jazz trio. Of course The In Crowd was a big hit for Dobie Gray in 1964. Lewis was in Washington, DC to record a live album at the Bohemian Caverns club May 1965. He was looking for a song he could perform on the show. He's sitting in a coffee shop and the waitress suggests The In Crowd and she plays it on the juke box. Ramsey writes an arrangement and the band records it at that night's show. After the album release, Leonard Chess calls Lewis and tells him The In Crowd is a hit. Lewis says great the album is selling well. Chess says it's bigger than that. We had to release it as a single. The In Crowd reached #5 on the Billboard Hot 100. Lewis also scored chart hits with Hang On Sloopy and Wade In The Water. Soon after this Young and Holt left and would later have success as Young Holt Unlimited. They were replaced by Cleveland Eaton and Maurice White. Of course White went on to form Earth Wind & Fire and this led to Lewis' other big hit Sun Goddess in 1974. This budget comp covers Lewis' Chess recordings. Of course Lewis is still around. But there's no question that The In Crowd set the stage for a long and distinguished career. Here's Ramsey Lewis performing The In Crowd as part of a medley at the 1980 Montreal Jazz Festival.