Monday, May 27, 2024

RIP Dan Ingram, One of the Great Top 40 DeeJays of All Time, of WABC and CBS FM Fame


Dan Ingram is gone today, at age 83. He was my radio hero, mostly from 77 WABC AM, the greatest top 40 radio station ever, and WCBS FM from its heyday when it didn’t play crap from the 1980s.

Dan was irreverent but never a shock jock. He warmly undermined the status and cracked you up when you didn’t expect it. When “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” played, he inserted Joe Tex screaming “I Gotcha!” when Robert Flack arrived ponderously at “The first time ever I lay with you.” He was juvenile appropriate for a teen audience.

I got to know Dan in the 80s, after WABC was converted into right wing jabbering. He went to CBS FM with many of his great colleagues, now missed so much: Harry Harrison, Ron Lundy, Chuck Leonard, and so on. Cousin Brucie is still kickin’ it on Sirius. They were the championship team.

Dan ended every show with “Bye now, Kemosabe!” So it’s back at him, today, Bye, now Kemosabe! Thanks for everything!

Listening to these sound checks on YouTube from an era gone by, you can hear how much deejays shaped the popularity of what we call classic pop and rock. They hyped it. They loved it. They made it into something dramatic. There was a sense of occasion.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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