Street to be Named James Ingram Way

East Alum Honored by City
Posted on 03/06/2019
Image of James Ingram(Courtesy ohio.com/Akron Beacon Journal)

Akron native James Ingram will be honored with a street named for him.

On Monday, Akron City Council agreed to designate a portion of Fuller Street, between Fifth and Seventh avenues, to be renamed James Ingram Way. The singer, songwriter and producer died Jan. 29 at age 66; he had been battling early onset Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, according to a post on his official Facebook page.

Councilwoman Tara Samples introduced the plan with members of Ingram’s extended family in the council chambers, saying “this was long overdue” and that the singer “has done Akron proud.”

The award-winning singer was a member of East High School’s Class of 1970 and grew up on Fuller Street. After moving to California, Ingram had a successful career with solo ballads such as “Just Once” and radio staples including “Baby, Come to Me,” a duet with Patti Austin, and the Grammy-winning “Yah Mo B There” with Michael McDonald. He earned two Oscar nominations and two Golden Globe nominations.

Chief of staff James Hardy, on behalf of Mayor Dan Horrigan, presented the signs that will adorn James Ingram Way and praised Ingram as “one of the great musical legends that have come out of our community,” earning a round of applause from the audience.

A few members of Ingram’s extended family expressed their appreciation. His sister-in-law Karen Ingram recalled the young singer “messed with us” and often encouraged her to get in trouble while he was a member of the church choir.

Ingram’s brother-in-law, William Ellison, read a note from Ingram’s wife, Debbie, and the couple’s six children: “James and I both are from Akron, and we have loved coming home every year for the past 45 years. We have great memories of 420 Fuller St. It is an honor for the city of Akron to recognize James Ingram’s accomplishments by renaming parts of Fuller Street ‘James Ingram Way.’ ”

City Council President Margo Sommerville offered thanks on behalf of the council. “As we celebrate the life and legacy of James Ingram, I just want to thank all of you for just sharing him and sharing his remarkable talent. Not just with us here in Akron, but with the world. And, as we travel down Fuller Street, we will always be reminded of his great legacy here in Akron.”

Read more about Ingram’s life and career at https://bit.ly/2EP2UDo.
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