At the insistence of ABC Records executives, Palmer joined Steely Dan in an early incarnation in 1972. He sang lead on two tracks on their debut album, Can't Buy A Thrill – "Dirty Work" and "Brooklyn (Owes the Charmer Under Me)" – as well as doubling parts of Donald Fagen's vocals on "Reelin' in the Years", "Only a Fool Would Say That", and "Change of the Guard" to reach the high notes. He also sang lead on most of Steely Dan's songs when performed live in their early concerts as a result of Fagen's lack of live vocal power at this point. Fagen eventually took over as lead vocalist and Palmer left the band, but Palmer did contribute backing vocals on the band's subsequent release, Countdown to Ecstasy.
After his exit from Steely Dan, Palmer worked with a number of songwriters, including Carole King in the composition of "Jazzman". He later formed the band Wha-Koo with Danny Douma. Wha-Koo released three albums, "The Big Wha-Koo" in 1977, "Berkshire" in 1978 and "Fragile Line" in 1979. He also contributed the song "Silhouette" to the 1985 film Teen Wolf. The song plays during the house party sequence where Scott and Boof participate in Styles' "games."
^DiCorcia, Bob. "David Palmer: Q & A", The Steely Dan Reader, January 1, 1997. Accessed October 14, 2015. "Bob DiCorcia: Where were you born and raised? David Palmer: Born and raised in Warren township, Watchung, New Jersey which, despite being 45 minutes-an hour outside of Manhattan, was rural territory back then."