It was a time of wide-eyed excitement;of great leaps, revolution, and war. A new generation wrested control of the music and the mores of the times. They tuned in, turned on, and dropped out to a sound track of rock and roll. It was the sixties and seventies, and in the biggest metropolitan area in the world, they heard it all on an AM radio tuned almost exclusively to WABC radio. Rising stars and future legends like Dan Ingram, Bruce Morrow, Chuck Leonard, and Ron Lundy played the hits, over and over again, pioneering what today has become a dying art: personality radio. Hey Kemosabe! The Days (and Nights) of a Radio Idyll is a ground-breaking work, blending memoir and fiction to create a revelatory look beyond the surface of the times and at the biggest radio stars of the day. We witness the camaraderie of these superstars as they navigate their times: the partying, the hijinks, and the heartbreaking loss. It focuses on the brilliant, sophisticated, and subversively clever Ingram while following his life, and that of the radio station, through more than two decades of dominance over the New York area airwaves.
By Allan Sniffen
Don't be fooled into thinking this is a book that only fans of radio will enjoy. Yes, you'll like the inside look if it interests you. But the book is more. It's a story about the era where Rock and Roll radio ruled and its DJ's lived by their own rules.
The book is set against the backdrop of the greatest Top 40 radio station of all time (Musicradio WABC) and its most famous DJ (Big Dan Ingram). In many cases the stories are fictitious (by design) but they capture the fun and sometimes recklessness of the time. Did DJ's really do things you may have heard about? Did current events such as assassinations, race and politics play into their thinking? Did radio personalities have direct influence on individual listeners? Were friendships among radio personalities real?
Chris Ingram gives you an inside peak. It's part nostalgia, part history and part big time radio fun. If you were there, you'll like the look back. If you weren't, you'll find out what it was your parents thought was so compelling about the voices that accompanied the music that virtually everyone of a certain age listened to.
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Romp Through Those "Radio Dazed" July 24, 2014
By Patricia Alder
I was a kid of the 60's, so "Hey Kemosabe: The Days (and Nights) of a Radio Idyll" not only brought back memories of a time so wild, so innocent ( sorta) where AM radio was king, it was a place we kids wanted to be a part of, it was our Camelot. And no place was that more the case than in New York City, where Camelot was a 50,000 watter of a station...WABC. In this rarefied ether, Chris Ingram ( son of...the main character) writes a roller coaster of a novel. Based on real characters or situations, Ingram weaves a tapestry of radio as it was, where you worked your way up with crap jobs, waiting for your turn at the Golden Mike. Life was fun, funny or something to get past to get where you needed to be. Not only if you were working in radio, but if you were a listener, you aimed for the chance to meet your favorite DJ. Better if they were pushing the next greatest rock group. It's all good, it's all wild and it's all here in " Hey Kemosabe: The Days (and Nights) of a Radio Idyll" If you were working in, around,or near a radio in the 60's, this is one of the best stories to come out in a long time. HBO...You listening?
4.0 out of 5 stars Very nicely done job here by Chris Ingram August 16, 2014
Very nicely done job here by Chris Ingram. I"d say pick up a copy of Rick Sklars book "Rockin AMerica", Bruce Morrows book and this one and keep them all together as perhaps the only 3 books that will ever be written by those with firsthand knowledge of the (once) great WABC radio. I read it thru at one sitting. Dan Ingram and Jack Spector (on WCBS-FM) were my 2 favorite jocks in the 70's and early 80's in New York,and now that I"ve had a chance to do a little radio myself here in San Diego on Saturday nights, I have a much better appreciation of what these guys had to deliver. Dan was right: "second person singular" is the key to radio,and the best guys understood this,and those guys worked on network flagship stations in New York like WABC. I only wish the book was longer. Thoroughly enj
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for radio fans! August 16, 2014
Chris Ingram has truly pulled back the curtain to a time when the DJ ruled the airwaves. His keen eye for detail and dialogue are amazing. This book is must-read for those who not only lived through the turbulent times of the 60's and 70's but for those who read about these events in a history book. Ingram captures the era through the eyes of these amazing kings of the radio. We know how it ends, but the stories Ingram gives us after the microphones are turned off really touch the reader's heart. If you love Mad Men, you will love Hey Kemosabe!
5.0 out of 5 stars looks at the goings on at Americas greatest radio station during the days when personality DJ's were ... August 21, 2014
By Joel Peresmik
Hey Kemosabe: The Days (and Nights) of a Radio Idyll.....looks at the goings on at Americas greatest radio station during the days when personality DJ's were king. It's done through the eyes of that stations #1 DJ, Dan Ingram. The stories told (true, but with some embellishment) are fun. Those wild days of personality radio are gone forever, but this book puts you right back into them Chris Ingram (the son of Dan Ingram) has given us a gem. My only complaint is that the book is too short. Hopefully a sequel is in the works.
5.0 out of 5 stars An Inside Look at a Very Special Radio Station September 14, 2014
By Bernie Wagenblast
I have to admit to being a somewhat biased reader since I was a very small part of Musicradio 77 as it neared its end, but as both a listener and a broadcaster I enjoyed reliving some old stories and reading others for the first time. Outside of the people who actually worked at WABC, I can't think of anyone other than Chris Ingram who could have put such an inside look together. It reminded me what made radio so special in the '60s and '70s.
5.0 out of 5 stars Humor, History and Heart September 8, 2014
By Roseanne Pawelec
Chris Ingram married humor, history and heart in this look back at the life of his radio icon father. This was a truly enjoyable read, especially for someone like me, who as a kid in the 60's, started and ended every day listening to the radio.
‘Hey Kemosabe’ Brings Front-Row Seat for Musicradio WABC Era
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It was a magical time in New York radio. Musicradio 77 WABC was the center of the universe for any Top 40 fan. But 77 was also the hottest spot on the dial for the country’s most acclaimed jocks.
Chris Ingram has placed us in the middle of that frenetic era. His new book, Hey Kemosabe! The Days (and Nights) of a Radio Idyll (Dog Ear Publishing) gives readers an equally fast-paced look at some key moments. (And I’m not just saying that because of my gig as 77 WABC street reporter!)
Yes, Ingram has some familiarity on the subject. His dad (who recently turned 80) is Dan Ingram. He is so revered for his radio work, specifically the more than two decades as afternoon DJ at WABC. Ingram is usually on the short list of greatest Top 40 jocks of all-time, and regarded by many as the best.
The junior Ingram does point out in the foreword that the book is “not a biography, nor is it a history book.”
But if you were expecting “the names have been changed to protect the innocent,” think again. They’re all here: Ingram, Cousin Brucie, Ron Lundy, Chuck Leonard, and Rick Sklar.
WABC-philes fully versed in the station history and airchecks may remember some of these memories, including Ingram famously trying to speed up a record, but the Blackout of 1965 winning the battle.
The stories may not be in complete chronological order, and there may be a few typos scattered (e.g. Lennox Hill Hospital), but the anecdotes don’t suffer.
We’re alongside Leonard as he faces the toughest night of his career, doing an on-air shift hours after Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated.
Readers will also explore Ingram attempting to make the move to another medium.
The book is a brisk tale of only 159 pages. However, where the fiction ends and the facts begin is a grey area. By not hiding any names, though, Ingram makes all events seems plausible, if not likely.
It’s an enjoyable, behind-the-scenes look, albeit with a hint of make-believe, at a powerhouse station with some powerhouse personalities.
This entry was posted in Books, Radio, Reviews and tagged Chris Ingram, Chuck Leonard, Cousin Brucie, Dan Ingram, Musicradio 77, Rick Sklar, Ron Lundy, WABC 77 on September 20, 2014.