I’m in with the in crowd;
I go where the in crowd goes.
I’m in with the in crowd;
And I know what the in crowd knows.

We breeze up and down the street;
We get respect from the people we meet.
If it’s square, we ain’t there.
We got our own way of walkin’
We got our own way of talkin’
We make every minute count! — Billy Page

Forty-eight years ago this month, December 2012, Dobie Gray had a hit (#13 in the U.S.) with the Billy Page composition, “The ‘In’ Crowd.”

The following year, the Ramsey Lewis Trio released an instrumental version. The album went to number one and the single of “The ‘In’ Crowd” went to number two.

In 1965, I became a teenager.  Being “in” was the subject of many a teen’s desires.

Being a “square” (today’s “geek”) was something to be avoided.

Could Billy Page’s lyrics be among the roots of today’s slang term, “whazzup?” (often spelled without the “h”).

The genealogy of words isn’t my specialty. I can, however, recall from personal experience, a number of slang words and phrases in the evolution of language that resulted in “whazzup.”

Before Mr. Gray introduced us to that most favorable of factions, Maynard G. Krebs introduced Imageus to a new way of talking. His vernacular replaced the term “slang” with “hip.”  A 1965 entertainment variety show took viewers, along with Dick Clark, to “Where the Action Is.”

In 1971, Marvin Gaye asked “What’s Going On?”

More examples of hip slang include catch phrases like: que pasa, What’s shaking?, the real deal, keep on truckin’, the whole nine yards, where to get your kicks, right on, don’t be a square.

In my own case, I didn’t quite make it with Gray’s crowd.
I wasn’t hip either.
The horn-rimmed glasses and pocket protector didn’t help.
But a friend of mine fit right in.

Claudia Barry was no square in the sixties. Who dat? She’s The Tourist Killer.
What’s shakin’ with The Tourist Killer?  A professional assassin battles conscience, hired killers, and burn-out while juggling relationships and attempting normalcy in a character study with political overtones.

Art Hoffman produced the video trailers, and came up with the answer to three questions:
1. What do we title the video featuring many of the settings in my book?
2. Where is the action?
3. Whazzup?

His answer: Where It’s At.

Can you dig it?