Legendary talk show host Barry Farber: 50 years in radio and now he’s stuck in Mr. Media interview hell!
I must not tell a lie; I did not grow up listening to Barry Farber on the radio.
I listened to FM album radio stations in my New Jersey bedroom back in the 1970s, WNEW in New York City, the student-run station at Rutgers University and WPST in Princeton. Talk radio? Not so much then.
That said, we woke up every morning listening to Jack Ellery on WCTC in New Brunswick. Jack and I met when he moved to Tampa in the mid-1980s and we’ve since become friends. And after my mother met syndicated talk show host Bruce Williams through his flower store in the mid-70s and he learned I was interested in his business, he picked me up once a week for months and I got to sit in on his show and see how the job was done.
So where does Barry Farber fit into all this?
He’s had a career I envy, as both a long time radio fan and a short time radio host. He’s a mature man but he still has a reputation as a rebel, a conservative who speaks his mind no matter who he pisses off.
He started in talk radio in New York City in 1960 and has been at it ever since. Talkers magazine ranks him as No. 12 on its “Heavy Hundred of All Time.”
This year, Farber celebrated his 50th year in talk radio, culminating in a celebration of his career on October 5 at Manhattan’s Paley Center for Media.
I’m honored to have a veteran of so many talk show wars join me today. Maybe a little of what’s made him such a success will rub of on me. And that’s why he’s here!
BARRY FARBER audio excerpt: “I interviewed Art Buchwald on a train from New York to Miami, just south of Washington, D.C. A brilliant writer. As a speaker, he could not ad lib a belch after a Bulgarian wedding feast. I said, ‘Art, you started in Paris, you traveled the continent, you wrote datelines from above the Arctic Circle to the Mediterranean. Take a look out the window. Where does it look like we are? Does this look like Switzerland, like Sweden?’ He said, ‘No, Barry. It looks like Virginia.’ That’s about the best comment I got out of him all night.”
You can LISTEN to this interview with BARRY FARBER, legendary talk show host by clicking the audio player above!
Bob Andelman is the author or co-author of 10 books, including ‘The Profiler’ with Pat Brown, ‘Built From Scratch’ with the founders of The Home Depot, and ‘Will Eisner: A Spirited Life.’ • Follow Bob on Twitter or Facebook.