Rocky Roberts

  • Born: (Miami, Florida, USA)
  • Died: (Rome, Lazio, Italy) age 63

Rocky Roberts, born Charles Roberts, was a naturalized Italian American singer and actor.

Moving to Miami (Florida), he enlisted as a sailor on the aircraft carrier USS Independence in Boca Chica Key West (Florida). Here he had a moderate success in boxing, to the point of winning four championships in the welterweight category, in the various stages of the US naval missions abroad. However during a match, he was hit in the jaw and left eye, seriously injuring him and forcing him to stop boxing and wear dark glasses which, in addition to covering the scar, gave him the artistic look that distinguished him in the following years.

In the same period, in fact, he attended the music band of drummer Doug Fowlkes, who performed on the ship. He immediately noticed his innate bluesman talent and made him sing under the name "Rocker Roberts". The band was called Doug Fowlkes & The Airdales, the name of the American dialect used by US soldiers. The other members of the group were Don Borja (bass), Doug Fowlkes and Marvin Glover (drums), Charles Barron (guitar), Jerry Armstrong (guitar), Jerry Hendrix (piano), Bob Given and Fred Lawrence (saxophones).

Rocky Roberts was spotted by Renzo Arbore and Gianni Boncompagni in 1965, who called him to Rome to entrust him with the theme song of the radio program Bandiera Gialla, with his song, in English, "T-Bird", known at the time and published only in France.

Moving to Rome he learned an Italian who has always remained approximate, but thanks to the beautiful voice and his verve, success was not long in coming and, between various appearances on TV and live events, the boom came in 1967 with the victory of the Festivalbar, in which he presented the song Stasera mi butto, originally born as the theme song of the television variety Sabato sera. The great success of the song and 18 weeks in the charts, subsequently inspired a musical film with the same title, directed by Ettore Maria Fizzarotti. Alongside Rocky, Giancarlo Giannini, Franco Franchi and Ciccio Ingrassia, Enrico Montesano, Marisa Sannia, Nino Taranto and Lola Falana (another American black star who in the sixties had great success in Europe) recited.

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