Summerizing one's career isn't easy, but I've given it my best shot, along with my wife, "Suzanne Stunning's" help. My book title sort of tells it all: "A Word From Your Local Announcer-- or What Went Wrong-- My Life and Career in Broadcasting." It details the ups and downs I've been through, both in my professional and personal endeavors, which, looking back now, I can view with a laugh or two.
I became interested in radio broadcasting at a young age in Georgia when I discovered it didn't require much manual dexterity, as I have always been a bit on the lazy side. On Dec.7, 1941 I was working at WGST in Atlanta and pulled off the teletype message that Pearl Harbor had been attacked by the Japanese. I ran to the newsroom and cut into the Sunday symphony to announce this earth-shaking event on the air, the first person in the country to do so. (This is verified in the Newseum in Washington, D.C.) Soon thereafter I was inducted into the Army Air Force and I started a wonderful radio program called "Free For All" from Keesler Field, MS, heard weekly on WWL, New Orleans, with a full orchestra and some great musicians and writers, including me. Many went on to fame in civilian life, such as Bobby Rosengarden, the drummer on The Tonight Show for some years, Merle Miller, the author of seventeen books and numerous articles, and others. I also broadcast news events heard 'round the world on "The Fighting AAF" . After the War I moved around the South and had a chance at a big New York broadcast, but by then I had married and had a built-in family, so there went that. But, all things never being equal, I worked my way up to television, broadcasting the first live TV show on WAGA-TV, Atlanta in 1949, and moved from there to Miami, where I stayed and enjoyed living for the next 14 years, working on both radio and TV. My pal, Bob Clayton, became my co-host on a live TV program on Saturday nights, "The Don and Bob Show" (how's that for a unique name?), which was quite popular. Meanwhile I divorced and married a few times, and moved back to Atlanta in the mid-1960s where I was quite happily ensconced doing "The Don Barber Show" (another clever title) with a live band and visiting celebrities. I also hosted movies and acted as Master of Ceremonies for many auspicious occasions. My interviews with the stars turned into personal friendships with many, which I treasured. My autobiography is full of these reminiscences which I think the reader will enjoy. If not-- well, take a gamble!