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James Ingram

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Information about James Ingram

Profile image of James Ingram

Profession

Category:
MusicMakers
Occupation(s):
Musician
Songwriter
R & B Singer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Green
Favorite Food:
Salmon
Favorite Time of Year:
Holiday Season
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Home
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
2/16/1952
Birth Location:
Akron, Ohio

Profession

Category:
MusicMakers
Occupation(s):
Musician
Songwriter
R & B Singer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Green
Favorite Food:
Salmon
Favorite Time of Year:
Holiday Season
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Home
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
2/16/1952
Birth Location:
Akron
See how James Ingram is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

R&B vocalist James Ingram was born on February 16, 1952, in Akron, Ohio to Alistine and Henry Ingram. Ingram was interested in music at an early age and became a self-taught musician, inspired by his musical idol, jazz organist Jimmy Smith. In the 1970s, Ingram began performing in the Akron band Revelation Funk under leader John Birkett and alongside Bernard Lawson, Sr. The group opened for the Ohio Players and performed with a variety of other Akron funk bands, including Axis and the Silky Vincent Group.

In 1973, when Ingram was seventeen years old, the group traveled to Los Angeles, California, hoping to find further opportunities to perform. Although the group met with some success, recording the track “Time is on Our Side” for the soundtrack to the film Dolemite, the band was unable to sustain itself, and the group returned to Ohio. Ingram stayed behind, playing music around Los Angeles and eventually performing backup vocals and playing keyboards for Ray Charles. Ingram’s career as a musician began to take off, and in the mid-1970s, he began working as soul artist Leon Haywood’s musical director.

In the late 1970s, Ingram had a reputation for his work as a studio session vocalist in Los Angeles, and soon grabbed the ear of legendary ex-Motown songwriter Lamont Dozier. Dozier offered Ingram the opportunity to contribute vocals and material for some of his releases, and Ingram’s “Love’s Calling” gained some airplay. Another musical legend, composer and musical director, Quincy Jones, heard a demo of Ingram performing a track entitled “Just Once,” and quickly offered the singer the opportunity to perform on his 1980 album The Dude. “Just Once,” re-recorded with Quincy Jones, became Ingram’s first massive hit, winning Ingram Grammy Awards for Best Male Pop Vocal and Best R&B Vocal, as well as a nomination for Best New Artist.

Ingram signed to Quincy Jones’s Qwest Records and recorded his own solo material with production work from Jones, and, in 1982, released his first solo single, “One Hundred Ways.” The song reached #14 on the U.S. charts. After co-writing Michael Jackson’s hit “P.Y.T.,” Ingram released his debut album It’s Your Night in 1983, selling 850,000 copies and working with such musical artists as Ray Charles, Michael McDonald, Patti Austin, Anita Baker, Nancy Wilson and Kenny Rogers. Ingram joined another large group of popular artists in performing on the 1985 record “We are the World,” the same year as he was awarded a Grammy Award for his Michael McDonald duet “Yah Mo B There.”

In 1986, Ingram’s second album Never Felt So Good was released alongside the singles “Always” and “Never Felt So Good.” He joined singer Linda Ronstadt for 1987’s gold-selling hit “Somewhere Out There,” and released his third album, entitled It’s Real, on Warner Brothers in 1989. The album featured the hit title track, written by legendary songwriter Thom Bell.

In 1990, Ingram appeared on Quincy Jones’ R&B mega-ballad “The Secret Garden,” and one year later released his own greatest hits disc entitled The Power of Music. In 1993, Ingram released his fourth LP, Always You and continued writing and performing individual singles throughout the 1990s. In 1999, Ingram released Forever More: The Best of James Ingram, and in 2006, participated in Celebrity Duets, a reality television program.

Ingram continues to perform annually on the “Colors of Christmas” Tour and regularly tours throughout southeast Asia, where he is one of the most popular U.S. artists to this day.

Ingram passed away on January 29, 2019.

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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of James Ingram's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - James Ingram lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - James Ingram describes his parents' family backgrounds
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - James Ingram describes his religious upbringing
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - James Ingram describes his early interest in music
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - James Ingram describes his siblings' musical interests
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - James Ingram describes his parents' personalities
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - James Ingram describes his earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - James Ingram remembers celebrating the holidays with his family
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - James Ingram describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - James Ingram describes his early education
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - James Ingram describes his musical interests at East High School in Akron, Ohio
  • Tape: 1 Story: 13 - James Ingram talks about his early bands
  • Tape: 1 Story: 14 - James Ingram remembers his music lessons
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - James Ingram talks about his older brother's musical talent
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - James Ingram describes his involvement in his church choir
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - James Ingram describes his decision to pursue music as a career
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - James Ingram talks about his band, Revelation Funk
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - James Ingram describes his family's civil rights involvement
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - James Ingram explains the meaning behind 'Yah Mo B There'
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - James Ingram describes his spirituality
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - James Ingram recalls performing in Revelation Funk
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - James Ingram talks about his wife
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - James Ingram recalls touring Japan with A Different Bag
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - James Ingram remembers his bandmates
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - James Ingram describes his collaboration with Ray Charles
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - James Ingram remembers meeting Quincy Jones
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - James Ingram remembers winning a Grammy Award for 'Just Once'
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - James Ingram remembers working with Dick Clark
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - James Ingram recalls recording 'Just Once' with Quincy Jones
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - James Ingram describes his tour with Quincy Jones and Patti Austin
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - James Ingram remembers winning his first Grammy Award
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - James Ingram describes Quincy Jones' influence on his career
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - James Ingram talks about his experiences of fame
  • Tape: 3 Story: 11 - James Ingram talks about his children
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - James Ingram describes his collaboration on Quincy Jones' album, 'The Dude'
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - James Ingram remembers touring with Patti LaBelle
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - James Ingram recalls writing 'P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)'
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - James Ingram remembers working with Michael Jackson
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - James Ingram talks about his vocal training
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - James Ingram describes his songwriting process
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - James Ingram reflects upon his musical influences
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - James Ingram remembers recording 'We Are the World'
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - James Ingram describes his collaborations with Harry Belafonte
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - James Ingram recalls recording 'How Do You Keep the Music Playing'
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - James Ingram reflects upon his international success
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - James Ingram talks about his tours abroad
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - James Ingram remembers writing 'The Day I Fall in Love'
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - James Ingram talks about his Academy Award nominations
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - James Ingram recalls singing the theme song for 'An American Tail'
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - James Ingram remembers performing with Linda Ronstadt and Natalie Cole
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - James Ingram reflects upon his musical influences
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - James Ingram describes his collaboration with Keith Diamond
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - James Ingram recalls collaborating with Kenny Rogers and Kim Carnes
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - James Ingram remembers his third album, 'It's Real'
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - James Ingram reflects upon the success of his mentors
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - James Ingram remembers his manager, Dick Scott
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - James Ingram remembers Gerald Levert and Eddie Levert
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - James Ingram describes his collaboration on 'The Secret Garden'
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - James Ingram talks about his album 'The Greatest Hits'
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - James Ingram describes his talk show appearances
  • Tape: 6 Story: 9 - James Ingram reflects upon his personal success
  • Tape: 6 Story: 10 - James Ingram reflects upon his career success
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - James Ingram describes his collaborations with Debbie Allen
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - James Ingram talks about his album, 'Stand (In the Light)'
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - James Ingram describes his philanthropic work
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - James Ingram reflects upon his musical influences
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - James Ingram reflects upon his legacy
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - James Ingram reflects upon his music
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - James Ingram describes how he would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 7 Story: 8 - James Ingram shares a message to future generations