Charlie Roberts
Larry Weiss
Lou Modestino
Ken Stout
Rick Hughey

Biography of Charlie Roberts

It all started with a syndicated television show entitled: Jalopy Races From Hollywood.

A young boy who, along with his parents, was a refugee from the granite canyons of New York City had migrated to the deep south... at least, to the southern suburbs (the north Jersey Shore) of the "city that never sleeps" and wouldn't know an Offenhauser from an office building.

But, for some unknown reason, a TV station in that big town, in the fledgling days of the medium, chose to air this half-hour program that featured the exploits of such wheel jockeys as "Termite" Snider, a cigar-chomping and always-grinning gas pedal masher, and Scotty Cain, the "Peck's Bad Boy" of the track.

And, for an equally unknown reason, this towhead of a lad found that the aforementioned speed merchants could be heroes in the same legion as the "Say Hey Kid," ole number 24, Willie Mays.

It didn't matter if their ragtop '34 Ford sedan got towed away after an "altercation" by the "big A-frame wrecker" or if they were the star attraction on the "Crackup of the Week" (which was one of the first uses ever of slow-motion replays in sports television), the kid always begged his Mom and Dad to let him stay up past his bedtime, just once a week, to see the action from "the world's fastest quarter-mile dirt track, the Culver City Stadium."

About this same time, the young boy noticed that the radio was more than just a box blaring out the tunes of the day. It was its own world with a population of interesting and entertaining characters who just couldn't be ignored. He knew them by name and they were his friends. (He was sure that they knew him too!) The old AM radio in the kid's room never got a chance to cool down as the tubes cast their glow around the clock. (His mom learned that it was not a good idea to hit the off switch even when he was in school or, heaven forbid, asleep. He would know... he was listening!)

And then, those two worlds collided with such an impact that the boy, who never quite grew up, is still "turned on" by the sound of a fuel-injected big block and still turns on the "television without pictures."

It happened shortly after our hero saw a little, tiny, postage stamp size ad in the local newspaper inviting people to attend the "stock car races" at a nearby track, Wall Stadium. And, sure enough, his dad took him to the races... or maybe it was the other way around... but they went, and there it was... their very own live and in-person version of Jalopy Races and, low and behold, the track announcer was none other than Ted Webbe... THE Ted Webbe who was heard by the boy every week on NBC Radio's Monitor, "Speaking of Speed."

"This has got to be a dream," thought the lad. "Racing and radio... oh boy Buffalo Bob, that's what I want to do when I grow up!"

As we said before, he hasn't but he did do those very things anyhow.

After (sports car) rallying (with Dad) through high school, our future motormouth headed off to "Beantown" and got into radio at Boston University but still managed to take the trolleycar/bus/thumbnail express every Saturday night to the Norwood Arena in the southern suburbs. (That's where "Bugs" Stevens was the stogie smoker!)

Following a reasonable amount of education, it was back to the Garden State where a job at a local radio station led to a friendship with a fellow broadcaster who JUST HAPPENED TO BE the chief announcer at Wall Stadium who JUST HAPPENED TO NEED an assistant.

It was actually happening... racing and radio were coming together at the age of 19. Who needed to eat?

Well, as they say (but what do "they" know?), the rest is history.

The kid then went on flap his yap for cash at a bunch of stations and speedways including Daytona, Pocono, Dover Downs, and several short tracks but, the big move to fulfilling his dream came with the founding of MotorNet and a seven-year collaboration with U.S. Tobacco Co. which produced the nationwide SKOAL Motorsports Report on more than 350 radio stations in 44 states.

Racing and radio... whatta combination! He had actually been able to make a living off of something he liked... a very fortunate young man at that plus, he made a lot of good friends along the way.

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Charlie Roberts.

Career Highlights of Charlie Roberts