I'm on the Outside (Looking In)
|"I'm on the Outside (Looking In)"|
|Song by Little Anthony and the Imperials|
"I'm on the Outside (Looking In)" is a 1964 hit song by Little Anthony and the Imperials, issued on DCP Records. It was a Billboard Top 20 Pop hit, peaking at number 15. Written by Teddy Randazzo and Bobby Weinstein, this was the group's comeback single, ending a long period of inactivity. After the group's first hit-making period, with such hits as "Tears on My Pillow", "Two People In The World", and "Shimmy Shimmy Ko-Ko Bop", lead singer "Little Anthony" Gourdine left the group for a solo career. Both he and the group released records separately, but none of them were hits. By 1963, both entities had faded from the charts. In the interim, The Imperials had gone through some membership changes as well. While original members Ernest Wright and group founder Clarence Collins had remained with the group, the other original members, Tracy Lord and Nathanial Rogers, left the group, and Sammy Strain joined the group.
In late 1963, writer and producer Teddy Randazzo, a childhood friend of the some of the group members and now a songwriter for Don Costa Productions, contacted the group, saying that he had written a song that he wanted them to record. Gourdine, Wright, Collins, and Strain went to the studio and recorded "I'm On The Outside (Looking In)". With the help of New York disk jockey Murray the K, the song became an immediate hit and re-established The Imperials as a hitmaking force. This song was the first of a long string of hits by Randazzo for the group, which helped them transcend their status as a teen doo-wop group and established them as adult contemporary artists.
Cover versions were recorded by The Miracles, Johnny Mathis, Baby Washington, The Moments, and others. Gourdine, Wright, Collins, and Strain reunited in 2003 and performed the song 39 years after they originally recorded it on the PBS special: Soul Spectacular: 40 Years of R&B.
Credits: The Imperials
- "Little Anthony" Gourdine
- Clarence "Wah-hoo" Collins
- Sammy Strain
- Ernest Wright
- Producers: Teddy Randazzo and Don Costa
- When Rock Was Young, pgs 178-181
- Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits: Eighth Edition. Record Research. p. 372.