In appreciation of Dan Ingram
Former WABC drive time disk jockey Dan Ingram passed away a few days ago. Dan was the epitome of Top 40 jocks. He and his engineer ran a mercilessly tight board and Dan's talk ups were blisteringly funny. When I was listening as a kid I really didn't appreciate how funny he was, but after WABC changed formats and Dan went to WCBS-FM when I was an adult it was dangerous for me to listen in the car, because his talk ups would leave me in stitches. You can hear airchecks of him on the Musicradio 77 WABC tribute site.
This poem that first appeared in Mas Tequila Review is about what happened on the way home from a class trip. I dedicate it to Dan would have been on the air when we sang in unison:
Joy to the World
Dear Mr. Bus Driver,
I am so sorry it has taken more than forty years
To apologize on behalf of the 60-something
Sixth graders, teachers and chaperones
Who surely shaved years off your life
While you drove us to and from someplace
I've long ago forgotten
For a field trip memorable only
For the following moments
Shared on your bus
In the spring of ’71.
We had transistor radios enough
To fill your bus with the sounds
Of WABC, the biggest, brashest
Top Forty Station
In the biggest, brashest city
In the nation
Which would play its number one song,
At least once very half hour,
Sometimes more if the song was huge,
Which this one was–
In the midst of
Seven whopping weeks atop
Music Power survey,
Another two weeks
At number two!
So every twenty-some minutes
Between Ike and Tina, the Temptations
And the Partridge Family
Those organ chords,
Wrenched the attention
Of every sixth grader, teacher and chaperone
From whatever we were doing
To on cue
JEREMIAH WAS A BULLFROG!
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Thoughts, large and small, from poet Tony Gruenewald.