Whenever I meet a new person online, and he or she asks me questions about myself, I find it quite efficient to just tell them where my web site is, and let them graze! One lady told me, "On your website you talk about yourself, yet, I still don't know much about you". Hmmmm. That sounds like an oxymoron at first glance, but, ya know, she may have a point there. So, that's the purpose of this page. To tell you about my background; Although it's difficult to imagine anybody besides the FBI or the IRS that would be interested in reading this, as a public service I thereby present my biog. And besides, it's my webpage. I can do what I want!!
Before I was Born
Before I go into my "I was born at a very early age" bit, let me tell you a little bit about my heritage. My father grew up on a farm in Wisconsin, and was an accountant most of his life. My mother grew up on a farm in Nebraska. My mother's father was a rancher, and, at one time, was the manager of Buffalo Bill's ranch in North Platte Nebraska. My grandfather died when I was 3 months old, so, I never had a chance to talk to him in depth about that!
My parents met each other in about 1941 for the first time in back of a truck! They were at a church youth group in Northwest Denver, and they were going to a picnic in the mountains. (I'm still a member of that very church today) They got married on 4/11/43. They were both married only to each other for 42 years until death, and they were very much in love. In this age of dysfunctional families, I was extremely lucky to be part of a very functional one. I never heard my parents argue. They stuck to agreements.
I Drop In
I was the first of 3 children, and I popped out on Columbus day, 10/12/46 at St. Josephs hospital in Denver. (my mother made the great discovery this time) I went to parochial school in Northwest Denver, and went to North High School. (class of '64) My grades in school were never very impressive. I was shy, and if I had any semblance of intelligence, I did a very good job of keeping it a secret! Occasionally, in science class or something the teacher would ask if anybody knew how a phone (or something technical) worked. Suddenly, I would get up (with my thick glasses on) and explain how "the carbon granuals would transfer the soundwaves into electrical impulses based upon the variations of how close the granuals were". Jaws would drop around the room, not so much because of this "encyclopia" that just came to life, but the fact that I could talk! And with this ungodly deep voice to boot! Even my sense of humor occasionally manifested itself. Today I'm known for my oddball videos on AFHV, but, even in those days....at the age of 12 I submitted a cartoon that I had drawn to the Denver Post, and won a bicycle over 28,000 entrants.
A Professional Student In College
I went to Southern Colo. State College in Pueblo from 1964 to 1969, and majored in Electronics Technology. Back in those days Electronics meant replacing a lot of tubes in radios! And taking apart big black and white TV sets. I also took many courses in data processing. (we're talkin' IBM 1620 and 360 back then) I was a staff photographer for the newspaper and annual at the college, and I had over 800 pictures published, a record for one person there that had not been equaled before or since! Yes, many of my years there I reeked of developer and stop bath, which now that I think about it, may account for my lack of a social life during those years!
My First Jobs at College
I decided that it was more fun to play with electronic things rather than repair them, and I was fascinated with being a radio announcer. Showbiz! I could go on the air, and perhaps from the many fan letters I would get, I could maybe find a girlfriend. Or something like that! In 1967, I got my first job in radio at KCSJ in Pueblo. I had the "First Class Radiotelephone License", which opened some doors in getting a radio job in those days, since by law that license was needed to make certain transmitter readings. I did some part-time news reading there, and did a daily 5 minute college news show. One day before the dj threw it to me for the news, he accidentally hit a sound effect of a dog barking instead of the standard news jingle. My reading the entire newscast gasping with laughter didn't amuse the management! I then got a job at KVMN-FM, which was an easy listening station, playing records and reading the news. I was employed there for, oh, 3 or 4 days. It seems I need more help in smoothing out my "breath control". No, it had nothing to do with taking Certs, but my taking too many breaths in each sentence as I read the news. I then got a job at KKAM in Pueblo. I was there for 3 years, being a disk jockey, a newsman, and doing a lot of audio production. That's where I got most of my early experience in radio. It was a typical WKRP type of station! Even the receptionist was a brunette version of "Jennifer". I could tell you a lot of stories, such as one night when I was alone at the station doing my show, and I had forgotten to lock the back door! A drunk guy with a cowboy hat came in, said that he was "Hank Williams Jr.", (he wasn't) and wanted me to play "Cold Cold Heart" and put on a commercial spot telling everybody on the air what a great guy he was. (he apparently wanted to impress a girlfriend that he was on the radio, or something) I called the boss on the phone, and for 4 bucks, the boss told me to put the spot on!! I guess any revenue at all is better than none!!
I Dodged the Bullets
When I was in college, the Vietnam war was raging on and on. Seeing many of my friends get drafted and come back in body bags didn't give me much hope for my future. The best I could hope for was to stay in college as a "professional student" and hope that the war would end. But, after getting an A.A.S. degree and a B.S. degree, it was time to go home to Denver. I had the "Student" deferment on my draft card, but now, I had to take a physical to get reclassified. Did you know that I have a "Twisted Dorsal Scoliosis"? Yep, that got me a draft card that said "4F" on it. "Unsuitable for Military Service". Let's just say, that's comparable to getting a pardon from the governor! Suddenly the rest of my life lie before me!
A Free Man, On To Fame!
It was summer 1969. I'm back in my family's house in Northwest Denver, contemplating my future. I didn't even try getting a job for 6 months, because I wanted to "find myself". Yea, I found myself alright. I found myself broke! Then, I got a job at KDKO. My original position was doing a morning show that was trying out a format that appealed to the big companies in Denver, "Forward Metro Time". I would spend the day getting interviews and news from the companies, and then do a show that would feature the interviews. It was an ideal arrangement for me, and I enjoyed the challenge! I did that for about 3 weeks, when the ratings came in. You guessed it, I was talking to myself for 3 weeks. The basic format of the station was "Soul Music" that appealed to the black community, so, I suddenly had a new postion there. "All night Soul DJ!" Midnight to 6am I was spinning the platters, doing the jive, fingerpoppin' kneeslappin' and footappin', rockin' ana rollin', in general, screaming my brains out, and talking to the strange people that stay up all night on the phone. I had always wondered what it would be like to be an all night dj, and, I found out more than I wanted to know! I graduated from there to a basic day job, doing news and audio production at KDKO. I was there for 9 years, and, my biggest accomplishment was putting together some comedy radio spots for an auto dealer that ran for a few years on 6 radio stations in town. In 1978 I worked at KDEN all news radio for a few years. I got a lot of "reading" practice, you might say. From 1980 to 1985, I worked part-time as a newsman at KLZ radio. KLZ is the oldest station in Colorado, so, there were some historical aspects to it. I did a lot of on-the-street style of news gathering. Cruising around in the KLZ news car looking cool and broadcasting live on the air from the car everytime I ran into a news story was a lot of fun! And, I got to meet a lot of famous politicians in the state! In 1985, I got a job with Bob Larson Ministries. Bob does a daily, live, nationwide radio talk show, and, now a weekly TV show on TBN. He's written scores of books that you can find in any bookstore across the nation. Bob is sort of a "Christian Donahue", or "Religious Shock Jock". I did mainly audio production for Bob's show. A dozen years later, I'm still associated with the company, but, just on a part-time on-call basis.
Here's a few extra curricular things that I've done along the way. Back in the Early 70's I met a beautiful French blond in a square dance group that I went to. Since she looked like a compilation of Marilyn Monroe, Mae West, and Dolly Parton rolled into one, I took an instant interest in her, and asked her what she did. "I'm a professional singer". Anything that has to do with showbiz gets me interested, so, wow, I had to find out more. She and her sisters traveled around with a band, and did a lot of local conventions and parties, and had put out some records. The show they gave was sort of a Las Vegas style show, which is a great concept, but, turned out to be expensive in the long run for a city such as Denver. Anyway, I saw one of their big shows. That was the only time that I just "saw" one. After that, I was hired as their sound man, and, yep, the standup comedian for the group! I would wear a white suit, someone would give me a Las Vegas style introduction, and a spotlight would be thrown my way. And I would let loose with my act, which consisted of sound effects and impressions. Hey, it was like running away with the circus!! I did this for 3 years, and it was great experience in learning how to handle an audience. I also did voice-overs for a companion company, using my own basement audio studio, and there's a number of movies and slide shows floating around with my dulcet tones on them.
Every year, the educational TV station here in town, Channel 6, has a 10 day auction to raise funds for the station. And, being the TV ham that I am, I've always volunteered to come down for about 4 days of the auction, and do my on-camera thing. Would you believe that I've done it for 25 years now? My on-air style gets looser every year, as I try and see what I can get away with! People occasionally recognize me from that exposure. In the early 80's, I had my own cable TV news show. In the early 90's, I took a leap of faith, and took the IQ test to see if I could join Mensa. By golly, I made the score, became a member, and in 1995 I was the chapter president over 600 local members. For the last few decades, I've done a lot of public speaking. If you need someone to come to your club and do a funny lecture about radio or TV, I've got a list of bits that I do.
My big deal that has happened recently, and I jabber about it to anybody who will listen, happened on 11/20/94. I was on "America's Funniest Home Videos" as a 10 grand winner! Yep, they flew me to Hollywood, Bob Saget interviewed me on the air, the whole bit. Channel 9 news had some newscasts devoted to me. The program flew me back about 3 months later for their 100 grand show. I had a one in seven chance of getting that one. Nope, the audience went for a dog video that time. I've been quite active since that time concerning AFHV. I've had 5 different clips of mine on the program. Every month on the daily reruns of AFHV my face pops up somewhere. I've signed release forms for 9 new clips of mine that haven't even been on yet!
After all of these years, I'm still a single man. And if you want to know why, you can click here to find out.
What Lies Ahead
So what's in my future? I'm an optimist. At this moment, I'm using my time between jobs to make plans. I'm going to try and produce special interest videos and sell them. I'm going to contact some agencies for doing more voice-over work. I'm also good at doing impressions and various charactors. I'm one of these people who sees opportunities all over the place, it's a matter of trying to get some "focus". Even when I was of high school age, my father would say to me, "Son, you're spreading yourself too thin". I still have that problem. I have so many interests (photography, computers, keyboards, piano, magic, art, reading, writing, videography, audio production, electronics, entertainment, interior refinishing, and on and on) that you could lock me in my house for many months, and I'd never be bored a minute. But someday, all of those interests will lump together into an ideal job for me -- Stand-by America, you'll hear from me soon!!
For the few people who actually made it to the end of this story, click on Don Mueller's Homepage to get to.......well, my homepage!!