|Barry Hansen was the DJ for his high school's "sock hops" in the late 1950s. In college, he was the student manager of the campus FM station.
While in graduate school at UCLA, Hansen hosted a radio program of blues and country music on KPFK.
After brief stints as a roadie for Canned Heat and Spirit, Hansen worked for Specialty Records compiling reissue albums and producing new recordings.
While still working for Specialty, Hansen began hosting a program of rock rarities on KPPC. Hansen adopted the persona of "Dr. Demento" while playing novelty songs such as "The Purple People Eater."