The Dan Ingram Tapes

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Dan Ingram Biography

Dan Ingram was easily the most famous TOP 40 disc jockey in the history of American radio. He was born Daniel Trombley Ingram on September 7, 1934. He was most known for doing his popular radio show for more than 20 years at WABC AM in New York.

Dan started his broadcasting career at WHCH Hofstra College in Hempstead, New York. Working as Rae Taylor, he started at WALK in Patchogue, NY, then went to WICC in Bridgeport, CT, and then WNHC in New Haven, finally getting his shot at a job in a large radio market, at the highly-rated KBOX in Dallas. After a short move to WIL in St. Louis, a demo tape of him on the air on WNHC and KBOX (which you can hear on this site) got him his big break to join WABC in 1961, where he held court until 1982.

Dan Ingram was one of the most highly regarded DJs from his era. He was noted for his quick wit and ability to convey a humorous or satiric idea with quick pacing and an economy of words, a skill which rendered him uniquely suited to, and successful within, modern personality-driven AM music radio.

He was among the most frequently emulated radio personalities, cited as an influence or inspiration by numerous current broadcasters. One of Ingram's unique skills was his ability to "talk up" to the lyrics of a record, speaking over the musical introduction and finishing exactly at the point before the lyrics started.

He was great at making fun of the records he played, he called Elton John's song "Someone Shaved My Wife Tonight," introduced Paul Simon's song as "49 Ways To Relieve Your Liver," and during the time Barbra Streisand had a hit with "Evergreen," he frequently made a lot of fun of the size of her nose, actually muffling the sound of his voice to go "up inside her nose" commenting on the spaciousness, as he was announcing the song.

Dan had several running gags he did almost every day in his show, including Word of the Day, which included words like Gestetner and Amanuenses, and Honor Group of the Day, which sometimes included people that had hacked him off, like people who made him late for work that day, but more often than not, honoring people he admired, like New York City's firemen.

After WABC dropped their music format to become a talk station in 1984, Dan moved briefly to WKTU, 92.3 in New York. From 1991 to 2003, Dan appeared on Saturday and Sunday afternoons on WCBS FM, and on their New York Radio Greats show. In 1998, he was the guest DJ for one week on KRTH 101 in Los Angeles. He was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 2007.

Dan passed away on June 24, 2018, at age 83. He'll be greatly missed, and his memory will live on forever in tapes like the ones on this site and other internet resources.

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