I come from a musical family. My four brothers played various instruments, often accompanying my dad, Kenny Roberts, a recording artist who had some hits and a country career. But it was in February 1964, when I saw the Beatles play the Ed Sullivan show, that I subconsciously made my career choice.
In the 60's, I would go on the road with my dad, who was performing with various country artists including stars like Johnny Cash. One of my fondest memories is of Roger Miller sitting in our living room playing a new song called "King of the Road" before it was finished. That song, of course, went on to be a huge hit for him. After high school, I played music with my brothers and traveled as "back up" for my dad at fairs and country shows. Realizing I needed an education, I went to college and graduated in 1977.
Yet music called again. I joined my brother Bobby's Michigan booking agency in 1978, and began booking club bands. In 1983, I joined Bobby in Nashville, TN, to become part of Leon Russell's operation and became the in-house booking agent for Leon and other artists. In 1986, both Bobby and I left Leon and started a company booking national country artists and contemporary Christian artists. Our partnership dissolved in 1993, with Bobby taking the country department while I took the CCM artists. Bobby and I continue to work together on different projects. Our CCM department has grown to be one of the largest CCM agencies in the world, representing many Grammy and AMA winners; some of whom are Gold and Platinum selling artists.
I started JRA Fine Arts out of a desire to work with exceptional music and theatrical artists and to expand our agency into other areas of artist representation. It was after I had attended an APAP convention and had seen the great artistry and opportunity to work with classical, jazz, dance, theatre, Celtic and children's performers that I was motivated to open this new department in 2010. Our current Performing Arts staff and artist roster continues to grow and excel in this exciting and fun area of the arts. We love working with arts presenters and strive to provide great service and the best artists.
I've been married for 34 years to my wife Linda, (we met playing in a band) and we have four wonderful children - Jeff, Matthew, Jonathon and Sarah. Linda and I are empty nesters and loving it! We now have four grand children and, thanks to my wife, five cats!