Daniel Trombley Ingram (September 7, 1934 – June 24, 2018) was an American Top 40 radio disc jockey with a 50-year career on radio stations such as WABC and WCBS-FM in New York City..
“Big Dan” started broadcasting at WHCH Hofstra College, Hempstead; WNRC, New Rochelle; and WALK-FM, Patchogue, all in New York State.
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 fast pacing and an economy of words, a skill that rendered him uniquely suited to, and successful within, modern personality-driven 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, meaning speaking over the musical introduction and finishing exactly at the point when the lyrics started.
Ingram was well known for playing doctored versions of popular songs. The Paul McCartney and Wings lyrics “My Love Does it Good” from “My Love” became “My Glove Does it Good”. The stuttering title refrain of Elton John‘s “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. Paul Simon‘s “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover” became “50 Ways to Love Your Leaver” and “49 Ways to Relieve Your Liver”, and Ingram “rearranged” the spelling of “S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y” on the Bay City Rollers‘ “Saturday Night“. He had a daily “Honor Group of the Day” (for example, cops on the beat), and a “Word of the Day” (such as humdinger).
His longtime closing theme song was “Tri-Fi Drums” by Billy May. An edited version of the song was used for broadcast.
TV commercials Ingram narrated include a 1970 promo for free cut-out records of Archies songs on the backs of Post Honeycomb and Alpha-Bits cereals. Ingram also worked for cable channel HBO in the mid-1980s, mostly as the off-camera host of HBO Coming Attractions (a monthly show featuring previews of HBO’s upcoming programming; occasionally he would co-host with another HBO voice, Joyce Gordon) and various voiceover roles, though he did occasionally appear on camera in early 1986 as part of the HBO Weekend interstitials of the time.
Ingram was also featured prominently in his son Chris’s book, Hey Kemosabe! The Days (and Nights) of a Radio Idyll, a fictionalized account of the Musicradio WABC era..
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