Jack Roberts, Longtime Radio Executive and Personality, Dies

 

Extensive career spanned decades and the entire nation

 

Longtime radio executive and personality Jack Roberts died late Friday, March 7 in Los Angeles, following a long illness, CRN Digital Talk Radio announced today.

 

Roberts was 62.

 

During his extensive career in broadcasting, Roberts worked as an on-air personality, producer, program director, and general manager.

 

He most recently served as Executive Producer for CRN’s programming, including the acclaimed morning program “What’s Cookin.’”

 

“Jack truly understood and loved radio,” said CRN Digital Talk Radio’s CEO & President, Michael J. Horn. “He became an instant, caring friend to everyone he encountered. Not only has radio lost such a special person, but so has the world.”

 

Roberts was born on May 8, 1951 in Massachusetts. A graduate of Boston College, he worked with some of the nation’s top celebrity broadcasters and air talent. For more than 25 years, he booked for markets including Los Angeles, New York, Boston, Providence, and Hartford. 

 

“There wasn’t a guest or celebrity Jackie didn’t think he could get,” Horn said, “And he almost always booked them.”

 

While working as a senior producer on the nationally syndicated Dick Cavett and Colonel Oliver North radio programs, Roberts also was in charge of production for “The Jerry Williams Show” and “The Doug Stephan Show.”

 

Roberts’ experience ranged from working as a Top 40 format on-air personality in the northeast at a string of stations, including Boston’s WRKO, WMEX in Edgartown, MA; WXKS in Newton, MA; Providence, RI’s WPRO; WGUY in Veazie, ME; and WDRC in Bloomfield, CT, where he also became the station’s general manager and program director.

 

He eventually became general manager and program director at WWRC in Washington, DC, WMRE in Charles Town, WV; WBET in Sturgis, MI; and WHIL in Mobile, AL.

 

Radio personality and concert promoter Ron Jacobs wrote on his blog, “Jack Roberts is great at shining the spotlight on others and not blowing his own horn.” Jacobs also noted that when Roberts became ill with “some heavy medical issues,” he never complained.

 

In addition to his work in major radio markets, Roberts worked with dozens of celebrities, arranging national interviews and formulating promotions and events. He worked closely with Tony Bennett; Chris Matthews; Ed McMahon; Tom Bergeron; Todd English; Bill Kurtis; Chubby Checker; Wink Martindale; Rona Barrett; Stephen J. Cannell; Mike Connors; Peter Graves; Dave Koz; Tony Orlando; Oak Ridge Boys; Lee Greenwood; Mickey Gilley; May Lu Henner; Donald Trump; Piers Morgan; John Dean; Barry Goldwater, Jr; Uri Geller; Art Linkletter; David Carradine; Brian Williams; Robert Conrad; Connie Stevens; Emeril Lagasse; Ed Begley, Jr; Wolfgang Puck; James Darren; Harry Connick, Jr;  Howie Mandel; Suzanne Somers; and hundreds more.

 

Vincent Brunetti, Roberts’ best friend of 24 years, said, "Jack had such a passion for radio and his legend will live on."

 

Roberts maintained a radio-themed blog titled “HollywoodHillsGroup.com,” which served as an outpost for radio industry news and personalities. It also was an avenue Roberts used to highlight people’s achievements and give rising stars some publicity.

 

“There are literally hundreds of millions of people – including listeners and radio industry employees - who have enjoyed interviews Jack booked,” Horn said. “Countless others enjoyed programming he produced or hosted.

 

“Guests and talent, but most especially the listeners who enjoyed what they heard…Jack’s legacy will live on through them and all of us. That would make him very proud.”

 

Funeral services are pending.

 

FRIDAY FEBRUARY 21, 2014

Jack Roberts

My health has not been the best this past week, I think many of you know.

 

The Hollywood Hills may be week over the next few days and I will do my best to correct that. Do not feel sorry for me - push me hard, including corrections, picture submissions and story corrections. This is our newpaper, let's make it work.   Jack Roberts 

Bob Sherwood

I was watching Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon today (Mon. the 17th) on “Pardon the Interruption” and during a segment on the Maryland/Duke BB game Wilbon noted the sensational announcing job done by Johnny Holliday, the Terps long-time play-by-play man. Tony then equated him with Vin Scully.

 

If there’s a higher tribute to a sports announcer I have no idea what the hell it could be !   BOB SHERWOOD

                  

 Mel Phillips Web Site

 Hollywood Charity Horse Show   

DON GRAHAM, CHUCK BLORE, ERICA FARBER

Jack Roberts, Don Graham, Chuck Blore and Erica Farber have lunch at  "Jerry's Deli" in Encino

Jimmy Fallon & Joey Reynolds (simulated) (EXCLUSIVE)
On Wednesday, February 19, 2014 10:33 AM, Joey Reynolds wrote: Claude Would you please do my press release? I made a deal at NBC yesterday with Russ Markowitz, who produced my Times Square TV show To do a triple cast, covering all platforms, radio tv internet. Launch TV , which is already on in 21 markets, and rolling forward......

Launch TV is the newcomer, the underdog, the terribly forgotten pilots and shows, my show will be the first live show! 1 hour every night from NY with no intention of doing the A list or the B list. It is a personality driven show matching and mirroring our society as it is today,   I am the old guy doing the new media. You might notice that Jimmy Fallon is the young guy doing the old media. A desk, chair, a curtain, a band, a monologue, a celebrity, So what's new?  I am mobile, Goin in public with the camera on a Reynolds rap, great, underexposed talents and great people to the platforms. 

Stunningly, Procol Harum was Headlining (must’ve been late ‘60s) and the tickets were $ 3.00!  The mind boggles! Even without psychedelic stimulus.  Today those wretches at Ticket Master would get $ 300 to $3,000….even if H.P.Lovecraft didn’t show up !  “Which one’s Pink ?”   BOB SHERWOOD 

PS: When you’re at MSNBC just avoid Chris Matthews. He’s talk your other leg off---at least to the point that you’ll lean so far left, you’ll fall over.  You certainly won’t be welcome back in Texas!

DOUG STEPHAN TRAGEDY

Early yesterday morning (2/19) Eastleigh Farm -- located in the suburban Boston community of Framingham, Massachusetts – suffered a winter-related natural disaster in which one of the barn roofs collapsed under the weight of snow trapping, killing and injuring many animals. A fund-raiser has been launched to help with the formidable veterinarian bills, the care of the cows and the rebuilding of the barn.  For information about the fundraiser, please click here.   

Doug Stephan "Good Day"

To see local video news coverage of the story, please click here.  

 

Ironically, Doug Stephan recently launched a new, weekly one-hour show on TALKERS magazine’s experimental talk radio platform,  Talkers Radio titled, “American Family Farmer with Doug Stephan,” designed to bring information, inspiration and a political voice to the hard-pressed, small farmers battling the powerful interests of the mega-corporate-government-supported farm complex that has been systematically squeezing them out of existence.  The show airs with a new installment on TalkersRadio every Saturday morning at 8:00 am ET with repeats throughout the week at 11:00 am ET.  Clearly, this disaster and its aftermath will provide Stephan with a tremendous amount of compelling material and content for the show

Wink Martindale on hand to see Hit Parade Hall of Fame inductee Neil Sedaka receive the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Pioneer Broadcasters of Southern California.
JACK:  I WAS SHOCKED & SADDENED TO READ OF THE PASSING OF AN OLD TIME FRIEND & FORMER INDUSTRY ASSOCIATE, JULIE RIFKIN.  WHEN BANG RECORDS WAS CREATED IN THE EARLY 60'S, IT WAS PUT TOGETHER BY THE 3 PRINCIPAL OWNERS OF A&M AS A CUSTOM LABEL FOR THE ICONIC SONGWRITER, BERT BURNS. (WHO HAPPENED TO WRITE "TWIST & SHOUT" FOR THE ISLEY BROTHERS, "A LITTLE BIT OF SOAP" BY THE JARMELS, ETC.)  BERT WAS A RECORD PRODUCER AT ATLANTIC & THE NAME OF THE LABEL,"BANG" WAS COMPRISED  AS FOLLOWS:
"B" STOOD FOR BERT.

 

"A"      "           "      AHMET (ERTIGUN)
"N"      "           "      NESHUI  (ERTIGUN
"G"      "           "      GERRY (WEXLER)

 

THE GANG FROM BANG HIRED A YOUNG UP & COMING RECORD MAN AS G.M. FOR SALES & PROMOTION.  HIS NAME WAS JULIE RIFIKIN.  (AT THAT TIME (AROUND 1963) I WAS THE PROMOTION MGR. FOR MARNEL DISTRIBUTING IN PHILA. & WE WERE ONE OF BIGGEST DISTRIB'S IN PENNSYLVANIA. ALTHOUGH WE WERE THE LOCAL DISTRIBUTORS FOR ATLANTIC RECORDS, BANG RECORDS WAS RUN ENTIRELY SEPARATE FROM ATLANTIC & HAD THEIR OWN DISTRUBUTOR NETWORK, BUT WE WERE CHOSEN TO HANDLE THEIR LINE. JULIE WAS FULL OF ENERGY, A STRAIGHT SHOOTER & WE HIT IT OFF IMMEDIATELY.

 

BANGS FIRST BIG HIT BROKE OUT OF "OUR HOUSE" IN PHILLY. IT WAS BY "THE STRANGELOVES' CALLED "I WANT CANDY.' ARTISTS WERE THREE WELL KNOWN MUSIC INDUSTRY  SONGWRITERS & OF COURSE THERE WAS NO ACT TO GO ON TOUR. (ONE OF THE 3 WRITERS WAS JERRY GOLDSTIEN WHO MANAGED & PRODUCED THE PLATINUM SELLING GROUP "WAR.")  JULIE WAS A REAL 'MENCH.'  HE TOOK OUT A FULL PAGE AD IN BILLBOARD, IN FULL COLOR, THANKING  & ACKNOWLEDGING WIBG RADIO & MARNEL DISTRIBUTING IN PHILADELPHIA FOR THE NATIONAL BREAKOUT. BERT WAS THE CREATIVE GENIUS AT BANG: BUT JULIE RIFIKIND BASICALLY RAN EVERY ASPECT OF THE LABEL. JULIE INTRODUCED AMERICA TO  A THEN UNKNOWN SINGER/SONGWRITER, NEIL DIAMOND WHO HAD HIS FIRST HIT RECORD, "CHERRY.CHERRY' ON BANG AND THE LABEL LATER FOLLOWED WITH MANY HITS & BECAME AN IMPORTANT LINE FOR DISTRIBUTORS.
YEARS LATER JULIE & HIS BROTHER ROY HAD THEIR OWN PRODUCTION COMPANY & LABEL THROUGH POLYGRAM.
JULIE EXCELLED IN THE R&B FIELD & I OFTEN MEET HIM AT SUCH FUNCTIONS AS NATRA & OTHER AFRICAN-AMERICAN VENUES WHERE WE REPRESENTED JAMIE-GUYDENS HOT LITTLE "PHIL-L.A. OF SOUL RECORDS" BEFORE MOVING ON TO JOIN UA IN CALIFORNIA. HE HAD AN INFECTIOUS MILLION DOLLAR SMILE, NEVER CHANGED AND WAS ALWAYS READY TO GIVE A HELPING HAND.
I WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER HIM AS SWEET, SOULFUL & SCINTILLATING.  REST IN PEACE JULIE.  MAY THE 'GREAT ONE" SING ALONG SOULFULLY WITH YOU." 
 
Larry , you are always welcome at my place.  Thanks for the soup and once again, the writer is Larry Cohen.  Jack Roberts

Jack:  I enjoyed the privilege of meeting you, but promise never to call on you unannounced. Your quilte a human beilng. And also, I would never push you hard. Never!!  But if your up to it, I would greatly appreciate if you would make the following  TWO CORRECTIONS on my JULIE RIFKIND ARTICLE. 
     CORRECTION
(1)  IT WAS NOT A& M RECORDS THAT PUT TOGETHER BANG RECORDS.  IT WAS THE 3 PRINCIPAL OWNERS OF ATLANTIC RECORDS.
(2) ALTHOUGH I GREATLY APPRECIATE YOU HAVING THE ARTICLE PLACED ON LINE IN THE "HOLLYWOOD HILLS", YOU DIDN'T IDENTIFY THE WRITER WHO EXPERIENCED THIS TRUE SET OF EVENTS.  MAINLY ME!!  LARRY COHEN
SO THAT OLD FRIENDS & FORMER PEERS MIGHT LIKE TO REACH ME, COULD YOU ADD TO THE A&M/ATLANTIC RECORD CORRECTION THE INFORMATION BELOW. 
THANK YOU JACK & MAY THE 'BIG GUY' IN THE SKY BLESS YOU & KEEP YOU GOING.  Thanx Jack!! LAWRENCE M. COHEN 
 
 
Hi Old Folks..    Family and friends... Aren`t we special ? !.  'On a certain level', in so many ways. ( Thank you Leigh Baby)  Jon Carroll is a very cool guy (I love his work)  and is a columnist for The San Francisco Chronicle. I am just now reviewing one or two of his past musings about this and that and came upon his piece from some months ago.  I laughed out loud when he said that we shouldn't` scare 'The Horses'. I especially like his understanding of  ' Humility and Gratefulness.' For, I think,  no, I know that  'To be Humble is to know who one really is.' And that 'To be Grateful  is to know Joy'. Here`s another thing I know now, its lunch time.  I must have a little bite. Salmon? Tilapia? Catfish? Mahi Mahi? They are all right over there in the fridge. The choice is mine. This is so great ! Now you will pardon me. I have to go pee, for you see, I am an Old Person and I pee more often than I did when I was a boy.  And I drink a lotta beer. When you get a moment, see if you agree. You are all special to me.   Lee Baby. 

HERB OSACAR ANDERSON - 1957

 

A little rough for the time.

Been keeping up with you

I'm with you Jack

Write a comment

Comments

  • Mel Phillips (Thursday, February 20 14 12:35 pm EST)

    Congratulations Joey. It's about time you're back and I love that you're doing a show about today. There are far too many shows about yesterday when all that matters is NOW.

  • Larry Cohen (Thursday, February 20 14 08:28 pm EST)

    In the event that the wrilter of the Julie Rifkind/ Bang Records article is never identified, it was Lrry Cohen, formerly VP at UA Records back when there were real honest-to-God Record Stores. Also, it was the mighty trio of owners at Atlantic Records Records who put together the partnership & label together for Bert Burns, not A&M. My best to 'good guy' Joey Reynolds & nice seeing Ron Alexenburg name occasionally appearing. I personally would love toi read something on the late & talented George Michael, of WFIL WABC & later muti-emmy award winner at NBC for his many years of success of Sunday evening's "SPORT'S MACHINE." And for those who never knew, his Sunday night TV show was the VERY FIRST to show the highlights of the Sunday afternoon NFL games. ESPN then copied his format. Hail King George & Ronnie "Records" can confirm this…

Please enter the code
* Required fields
Claude Hall 2/17
Chuck Blore (Click)
Scott St. James (On Assignment)
Mel Phillips (Click)
Tom Rounds (Click)
Johnny Holliday
Dick Rackovan (Click)
Chuck Buell
Danny Davis Blog
Lefsetz Letter
Roger Carroll (Click)
Gary Owens
Colin Kennedy (Click)
Jim Ramsburg
Morris Diamond

RUSS REGAN

Herb Oscar Anderson


ERICA FARBER RAB
Gary Allyn
60's TV Shows
Dave Sholin
Charlie Barrett
ROLLYE JAMES SHOW
Timmy's File
Dick Carr's Web Big Bands, Ballads & Blues (click)
Devon Wendell Reviews (New)
Don Wolff
BFA (Click for Info)
Joe Smith Collection Library of Congress
Ken Levine Blog
The Olde Disc Jockey's Almanac (Click)
Don Graham
CRN "What's Cookin"
JazzWax
Georgia Radio HOF
What's on TV?

CHUCK BLORE CLASSICS