Monday, June 29, 2015

6.29.15 Hero of the Day: Dave Barber

Bee-otch of the Day honors are awarded Monday through Thursday, Bee-otch of the Week is awarded Friday on




Name: Dave Barber
Age: 60
Occupation: former talk radio host
Last Seen: Pontiac, MI
Awarded For: being a fighter
For years, Dave Barber spoke for the people of Flint, MI, and at one time, the whole state.

Now, we're praying for his survival.

The former talk radio host, who spent his recent years in Providence, RI hosting and programming the state's version of C-SPAN is at the St. Joseph Mercy Oakland Hospital in Pontiac after suffering a stroke and heart attack Thursday night while having dinner with family. Barber was back in Michigan to attend a friend's wedding. The news broke Friday night and his family and friends have asked for prayers and support for the Michigan radio legend, who is now in a medically-induced coma and as of Sunday night still in critical condition.

Barber is known for his take-no-prisoners approach to talk radio, but he wasn't always that way. He made his radio debut in 1972 at WTRX 1330, then a top 40 station. He was also notorious for having a naked woman in his studio in the 1970s on his program, long before the days of Howard Stern. Of course, WTRX wasn't fined by the FCC, mainly because, well, radio is incapable of carrying nudity as-is.

Dave worked at several other stations in the Flint area for years, talking to listeners, celebrities and politicians alike. He even interviewed Michael Moore years before he filmed Roger and Me. He was fired from the now-defunct WFDF-910 (now a Detroit area station with a religious format) for alleged sexual harassment. But, he got back on his feet in 2001 with the launch of the Michigan Talk Radio Network. His program was now heard throughout the state, giving people a taste of the no-holds-barred personality he presented. I was an early fan of the show, often calling in, even if my opinions sucked. I learned a lot from Dave about being a good caller and having the right opinion. I wrote a letter to him and had the name of my website on the bottom of the page. Shockingly enough, he loved it! He even invited me to his "breakfast nook" when I was in his area. I had the pleasure of meeting him twice and he was pretty cool both times.

Sadly, Dave left MTRN over a money dispute. He worked in Flint radio once more at 1570 AM before heading out to Providence, first at WPRO 930 and then Capitol TV. But, we still occasionally talked on Facebook. A few weeks ago, I shared with him an article about his favorite singer, Frank Sinatra's home studio. He thanked me, but he had been there himself! Yes, he's that big into 'Ol Blue Eyes.

When I got news that Dave was in the hospital with his stroke and heart attack, I was floored. It sucks when there was a sane voice in the world of talk radio and it's taken from us, at least for now. It'll take time before we know the severity of Dave's illness, but I hope and pray for his survival.

Pray 'em if you got 'em.
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