Voice of WIBB’s ‘Mighty Rock’ silenced

Robert L. Roberts, who rose to local fame as radio disc jockey “Mighty Rock” and “Brother Roberts” on WIBB in the 1960s and ’70s, died Sunday. He was 76.

Music legend James Brown, late in his career, credited Roberts as one of “them people down there” in Macon who helped put Brown’s songs on the air.

Roberts, a Hinesville native, graduated from Fort Valley State College and was a science teacher in southeast Georgia before moving to Macon and getting a radio gig in the mid 1960s.

“I listened to WIBB, and I said, ‘I really wish I could be a radio announcer,’’’ Roberts said in a 1998 interview.

He landed an on-air job and nicknamed himself “Mighty Rock.” His high-energy personality made him a favorite of the young adult crowd.

He was known to boast during his shows that “I’ll make your liver quiver, your bladder splatter and your back crack when your knees wanna freeze.”

His daughter Akisha Sweet said another catchphrase of his was that his show could “make a blind man see, a deaf man talk, a crippled man walk and make a bum get a J.O.B.”

“He always liked to have fun,” Sweet said.

Roberts was among the pioneers on the region’s rhythm-and-blues airwaves, a household name in an era that included such broadcasters as Hamp “King Bee” Swain, Ray “Satellite Papa” Brown, Palmira “Honey Bee” Braswell and Bernice “Queen Bee” Cotton.

Roberts, who also worked 42 years as a meat inspector for the state Department of Agriculture, founded the Citywide Easter Egg Hunt, which for three decades was a springtime fixture at Tattnall Square Park and later at Central City Park.

Roberts told The Telegraph in 1998 that he was perhaps proudest of his role helping others in town, be it volunteering for church or in recreational endeavors.

“I feel good about that,” he said. “These are things that make you feel as though you did something good.”

Funeral services are scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday at St. Peters Baptist Church, 1361 Fort Hill St., in Macon.

Information from Telegraph archives was used in this report. To contact writer Joe Kovac Jr., call 744-4397.