Dan Ingram

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Daniel Trombley "Dan" Ingram (born September 7, 1934 in Oceanside, New York) is a retired American Top 40 radio disc jockey with a fifty-year career on radio stations such as WABC and WCBS-FM in New York. His older brother, John, was the president of the Rock Ialand Railroad and later, undersecretary of transportation in the Nixon administration.


"Big Dan" started broadcasting at WHCH Hofstra College, Hempstead, New York, WNRC, New Rochelle, New York, and WALK-FM, Patchogue, New York.

Ingram is a well regarded DJ 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 has made him uniquely suited to, and successful within, modern personality-driven music radio. He is 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, meaning speaking over the musical introduction and finishing exactly at the point when the lyrics started.

Dan was well known for playing doctored versions of popular songs. The Paul McCartney & Wings song My Love Does it Good became My Glove Does it Good. The stuttering title refrain of Bennie and the Jets went from three or four repetitions to countless. In the same vein, the distinctive refrain added to Hooked on a Feeling by Blue Swede, Ooga-chucka-ooga-ooga would start repeating and listeners would never know when it would end. (Other examples include Paul Simon's 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover which he called "50 Ways to Love Your Leaver", and "rearranging" the spelling of "S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y" on the Bay City Rollers' Saturday Night.)

Dan's longtime closing theme song was "Tri-Fi Drums" by Billy May. An edited version of the song was used for broadcast.

TV commercials Dan narrated include a 1970 promo for free cut-out records of Archies songs on the backs of Post Honeycomb and Alpha-Bits cereals.[1]


Dan is not related to Clarke Ingram, another top 40 radio personality in New York City who worked at Z-100 during the early 1990s. Clarke has said that he was reluctant to use "Ingram" (his real name) because of Dan's prominence, but that Z-100 encouraged him to do so because at the time Dan was not on the air at any station. About six months later, Dan returned to the air, doing weekends at WCBS-FM, and the two occasionally competed in the same time slots. Some listeners mistakenly assumed that Clarke was Dan's son, or another relative. (A photo of Dan and Clarke meeting each other for the first time appeared in the radio trade publication FMQB in 1997.) However, Dan's son, Chris, was a DJ at WVOS-FM in Monticello, NY and most recently at WRMF in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Dan is also featured prominently in his son, Chris' book, "Hey Kemosabe! The Days (and Nights) of a Radio Idyll," a fictionalzed account of the Musicradio WABC era.

Dan commented occasionally about the pronunciation of his name: jingles often are heard pronouncing his last name as "Ing-ram," but Dan has said it is correctly pronounced "In-gram." As a tribute to Dan in later years, ESPN's Chris Berman would do the same when saying the name of New York Giants wide receiver Mark Ingram, pronouncing it "Marrrrrk In-gram".

Dan was interviewed about his career by Mark Simone on WABC Post-Rewound show on May 29, 2006. While discussing a lawsuit filed against him by another person who used his name, he said "shit". While the dump button managed to erase that profanity from the air, his second profanity ("fuck") accidentally went on the air due to a delay problem.[2]


  • 1958 — WICC, Bridgeport, CT (under the name Rae Tayler)
  • 1958 — WNHC, New Haven, CT
  • 1959 — KBOX, Dallas, TX
  • 1960 — WIL, St. Louis, MO
  • July 3, 1961 - May 10, 1982 — WABC, New York City. He and Ron Lundy were on-air as the station switched to TalkRadio.
  • April 1984 - December 1986 — Hosted CBS Radio's "Top 40 Satellite Survey"
  • 1984 - June 1985 — WKTU-FM, New York City
  • 1986 - 1987 — announcer for Nightlife, a late-night TV talk show hosted by David Brenner
  • 1987 - 1988 — "The Weekend Music Review", a weekly Adult Contemporary radio program that counted down the top 20 AC records today, and highlighted what was going on 20, 15, 10, and 1 yr ago that weekend. JAM Creative Productions, Dallas TX[3] produced and syndicated from 1987 to 1988. Julie Sizemore handled affiliate relations. Dan Ingram was host of "The Weekend Music Review" 3 hour AC show.
  • October 1991 - June 2003,[4] September 16, 2007 — New York Radio Greats on WCBS-FM, New York City
  • June 1998 — KRTH-FM, Los Angeles. One week as "guest DJ," ostensibly a tryout for the morning drive spot recently vacated by the retiring Robert W. Morgan. The job went to Charlie Van Dyke.
  • February 8, 2004 — Fab-40th Weekend on WAXQ, New York


  • Does that sound particularly slow to you?....Everything sounds like it's running in slow motion....The lights are dimming in the city; you wouldn't believe what's going on in this studio, folks!....The electricity is slowing down; I didn't know that could happen! — Ingram on the air, minutes before the great Northeast Blackout of 1965, as decreasing electrical frequency caused the music he was playing to run slow
  • I just got some terrible news. I read the ratings, and WABC is only the 13th ranked station…in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania! — On WABC in 1971
  • "WABC, the station that loves you, because your ears are a saleable commodity!"
  • "And we're off like a thundering herd of turtles!"
  • "Hey, Kemosabe!"
  • "Roll your bod"
  • "The word of the day is…"
  • "You're in the honored group of the day"
  • "The boys in blue are looking for you, with radar."
  • About Cass Elliot: "I love the chunky Mama. I'm going to put extensions on my arms and hug the chunky Mama to death."
  • "The Teeny Weeny Brass" — for the Tijuana Brass
  • "Someone Shaved My Wife Tonight" — Ingram introducing the Elton John song "Someone Saved My Life Tonight."
  • "on the Ingram Mess"*
  • "on the Ingram Flingram"*
  • "on the Ingram Travesty" (occasionally "the Ingram Catharsis")
  • "zay gezunt" — a Yiddish expression, meaning "be well." Upon hearing this, many listeners believed him to be Jewish. (He is actually Presbyterian, of English and French-Canadian heritage.)
  • "Jeg elsker deg" — a Norwegian expression, meaning, "I love you." Used nearly always as a sign-off, he would pronounce it "Yay elsker day." It was intended as a message to his wife at the time, Anita Strand Schonbrunn Ingram (1927-2014) (they were married from January 1963 to late 1974). Anita was 1st generation Norwegian. Dan learned a bit of Norwegian to confound his mother-in-law, who constantly put him down in Norwegian to Anita."
  • Sometimes preceding a weather forecast: "Peter the Meter Reader and his Weather Machine aided by his lovely wife, Fat Pontoon, her mustache, beard and orchestra" or "Peter the Meter Reader and his Weather Machine aided by his lovely wife Fat Pontoon and her weather balloon" or "... her pearly green skin and her orchestra." (The latter name was a play on that of Pat Fontaine, who did weather forecasts for a St. Louis TV station when Dan was still working at WIL, and later worked for NBC TV's Today Show.)
  • Sometimes during a weather forecast: "Chance of brief showers… watch out for those briefs…"
  • Introducing Howard Cosell's Speaking of Sports segment: "And now it's time to broach the coach."
  • "Big Dan here, laughin' and scratchin'"
  • "[...the Dan Ingram show] might start off slow, but you can be guaranteed it'll slump off from there."
  • Following a pre-recorded commercial which he had voiced, "Thank you, me!"
  • He frequently "doubled" the voiceover of a pre-recorded commercial or station promo, voicing it live on air while the recorded version was playing, perfectly matching the pacing and inflection of the recorded version, to sound as if there were two of him speaking.
  • "It's time for the two-two." Said at 2:22 p.m.
  • "Sentimental Lady by Bob Welch and his Grape Juice Orchestra."
  • At the conclusion of the song "So In Love", he called it "A story of a horny seamstress".
  • "Percy Sledge, which we all know is a gay hammer".
  • One of the most touching moments came in the 1980s on WCBS-FM, when he was telling about a letter he received when he was on WABC. He explained it was from a young girl and read what she wrote to him. It ended with her saying that she was standing on a bridge with her only possession, a transistor radio. "You made me laugh and I didn't jump" he read to the audience. Then he gave a choked up reaction "That made it all worth while".
  • "Watch out for those littles: they'll bite anybody!" after announcing the Monkees' song "A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You."

Quotes from last WABC shows before the 1982 format change[edit]

  • "So basically I'm taking seven weeks off. With pay heh heh." — at the end of Dan Ingram's final Friday afternoon on the air. Ingram was expecting to move to an upcoming satellite oldies service named Superradio (however, the service did not sign up enough affiliates to launch).
  • "But the honor group of the day, my friend, is you. Because if you hadn't listened, I would've never have been here. Thank you." — Dan Ingram at the end of his final afternoon show Friday before the format change
  • "There is one thing that I want to say that will be probably the last time that I will ever be able to say this, on WABC, and the last thing I am going to say is…This is WABC, New York. I can't say that anymore, can I?" — Near the end of the final broadcast on May 10, 1982
  • "We would like to play a couple of things to nail it down. Let's have that." (Three chimes ring, from John Lennon's "(Just Like) Starting Over," then Lennon's "Imagine" plays. After the song, the familiar WABC "chime" jingle is heard, then a moment of silence before the first Talkradio jingle. This marked the end of WABC's 22 years as a Top-40 station.)


  • Edward R. Murrow Award for an anti-smoking campaign
  • Brotherhood Award of the National Conference of Christians and Jews for public service announcements
  • National Radio Hall of Fame nominee in 2004 (although not inducted)
  • National Radio Hall of Fame inductee in 2007
  • New York Achievement In Radio (A.I.R.) Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005
  • Hofstra University Estabrook Alumni Award given to less than 1% of honored graduates


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