Famous Musicradio WABC Stories
There were many fun things that happened at Musicradio WABC over the years. We are fortunate to have some of these on this website as told by the people who worked there including the air personalities.
In 1964, Rick Sklar had an idea for a promotion. The idea was to run a contest for listeners to send in suggestions for an April Fools Day joke to play on Dan Ingram. Dan was aware of the contest but kept in the dark as to what the joke was actually going to be. When he came in that day, he knew something was going to happen but did not know exactly what.
It was decided was that several things would happen to Dan while he was "on the air". First, a bomb was supposed to go off. Then Dan was to read, live, a re-written commercial for "Englander Mattress" which contained a reference to a prostitute convention in Daytona Beach. Then there was a taped "Borden's Commercial" which was substituted for the original that was supposed to surprise Dan. But, the REAL joke in all of this was that it would all happen to Dan when he was not on the air but believed he was. Bob Dayton was the personality actually on the air from another studio. Dayton would check in on Dan from time to time while all this was happening. (In the end, Dan figured it all out in just 23 minutes.)
But that wasn't the end... Later in the show WABC brought in band leader Sammy Kaye to "take over" Dan's show from another studio. Again, Dan was taken off as Sammy's theme (which was definitely NOT rock and roll) came on over Dan.
Through it all, Dan held up great and maintained that great sense of humor he became famous for. Dan is funniest when he's first responding to something unexpected.
This is the most complete aircheck I have been able to put together from what went on that day. It includes Dan reading the Englander spot, the Borden's commercial and the Sammy Kaye "interruption"! (10 mins.)
On November 9, 1965 the Northeast was hit by a major blackout. Dan Ingram was on the air and did not know what was going on as the lights started to dim and the music slowed down. Dan's reaction was priceless. Dan tells the story with the actual aircheck: (3.6 mins.)
Mp3: Dan tells the story with part of the aircheck
Mp3: A more complete aircheck (courtesy of Peter Kanze)
Mp3: Dan Ingram the next day; November 10, 1965 (courtesy Ed LaPlante)
Cousin Bruce Morrow played a joke on Dan Ingram known as the "brief showers incident". Bruce entered the studio with some others and gave Dan a weather report which included the phrase "a chance of brief showers". When Dan read it over the air, the entire group tossed several pairs of jockey shorts (briefs...) at him. Here is the aircheck: (75 secs.)
In 1965 during the Beatles second trip to New York City WABC had Scott Muni and Cousin Brucie at the hotel where the Beatles were staying. Dan Ingram was back in the studio. There were 10, 000 kids outside the hotel and Scott and Bruce got them to sing the WABC jingles. Here is Dan, on the telephone with Bruce, to tell the story and the aircheck: (4 mins.)
Just to show you that nobody is perfect, not even Big Dan Ingram, here is Dan's story of how he said what he shouldn't have said over the air. Also, at the end is an UNBELIEVABLE tongue twister that Dan pulls off perfectly! (2.5 mins.)
On April 7, 1972, Dan Ingram played a series of PAMS jingles that he never used as a spoof on Jonathan Wolfert who, at the time, was working for PAMS jingles. On this clip, Dan states the visitor to the studio was Bill Meeks. In fact, it was not. As Jonathan Wolfert (now the President of JAM Creative Productions) tells the story: "Gee, I hate to contradict Dan, but he remembered the story incorrectly. It wasn't Bill Meeks who was visiting the studio. It was ME. And the reason it's on tape is because I had an engineer-friend of mine roll tape for me because I KNEW Dan was going to do some bit about the jingles. I was the guy who made the 1972 PAMS Christmas tape (I worked there from 1971-1974), and the first time Bill or anyone else at PAMS heard it was when the tape was played at the company Christmas party." (3.2 mins.)
In July of 1967 WABC had a contest to win a "Cousin Brucie Boat Ride" that featured listeners building paper boats that disc jockey Ron Lundy was supposed to sink in a swimming pool. The problem was that Ron couldn't swim. Here is the promo followed by Ron Lundy and program director Rick Sklar to tell the story: (2.5 mins.)
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