Robert D. Raiford

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'Robert D. Raiford (December 27, 1927 – November 17, 2017) was an American radio broadcaster and actor, best known for his political/social commentaries delivered during The John Boy and Billy Big Show, a morning radio program heard on stations throughout the American South. He was from Concord, North Carolina and majored in communication at the University of South Carolina. Raiford got his start in broadcasting in 1944 by calling play by play at baseball games. His first real radio job was at WEGO (AM) in Concord, North Carolina. Raiford has appeared in 28 movies, often portraying judge characters. He frequently closed his commentaries with the line "Who says that? I say that!", which also served as the title of a book containing excerpts from these segments. Early in his career, Raiford worked for WTOP radio and WTOP-TV, both CBS News affiliates in Washington, D.C.. His best-known work was a live radio broadcast on WTOP, a CBS Radio affiliate, covering the state funeral of President John F. Kennedy.[1] He also worked at Charlotte radio station WBT. Raiford also hosted a show on WIST, which aired Charlotte's first telephone talk radio format. He later taught Communications at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. From 1978 to 1986, Raiford was a news anchor and talk show host for Charlotte's NBC television affiliate. It was known as WRET-TV and then WPCQ-TV during his tenure there; it is now WCNC-TV.[2] On the June 9, 2016, episode of The John Boy and Billy Big Show, John Isley ("John Boy") announced that Raiford had retired from the show, due to suffering a stroke the previous August that greatly affected his speech and mobility. Raiford had not delivered any commentaries during the intervening months, choosing to focus on his recovery instead.[3]

Raiford died on November 17, 2017 at age 89.[4]


Year Title Role Notes
1990 The Handmaid's Tale Dick
1991 Billy Bathgate Judge
1992 In the Line of Duty: Street War Judge TV movie
1993 Super Mario Bros. TV Announcer
1993 The Program Chancellor Wilson
1993-1995 Matlock Judge Michael Stern / Warden / Mr. McEvoy 5 episodes
1994 Radioland Murders Ben Butter
1994 A Burning Passion: The Margaret Mitchell Story Harlee Branch TV movie
1994 Bionic Ever After? Minister TV movie
1995 Death in Small Doses Dr. Butler TV movie
1997 Paradise Falls Rich Man on Train
1999 The Rage: Carrie 2 Senior D.A.
2005 A Tale About Bootlegging Judge Bob Landis (final film role)


  1. ^ Knox, Michael (November 22, 2013). "At JFK funeral procession, Raiford was witness to history". Independent Tribune.
  2. ^
  3. ^ Washburn, Mark (10 June 2016). "Stroke mutes radio's curmudgeonly Robert D. Raiford". Charlotte Observer. Charlotte, North Carolina. Retrieved 10 June 2016.
  4. ^ Washburn, Mark. "Charlotte radio curmudgeon Robert Raiford dies at 89". Charlotte Observer. Retrieved 17 November 2017.

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