A native of Athens, Tennessee, where started his broadcasting career in 1965 at WLAR radio at the young age of 16, he worked the 5-9am sign on shift while participating in the local High School's Industrial Cooperative Training Program. He worked as an on-air disc jockey, news and sports director broadcasting McMinn County High School and Tennessee Wesleyan College games until moving to WDOD in Chattanooga in 1973 as a DJ and news and Sports Director broadcasting UTC Basketball and Football games. Late he transitioned to Television in June of 1975 moving to WTVC-TV as Sports Director anchoring the nightly sportscasts. Patterson was inducted into the Greater Chattanooga Area Sports Hall of Fame in 2004. Darrell retired from broadcasting after 48 years in December 2013.