Musings about 'Painting
From the Booth
Tuesday, August 20, 2002
By Jeff Charles
Voice of the Pirates
I’ve resurfaced. Football season must be right around the corner.
No, I really don’t drop off the face of the earth during the summer.
Quite frankly, it’s a busy time marketing the radio and television networks.
But now I hope you are looking forward to inviting me back into your
living rooms, car radios and the audio system on your Internet-connected
computer. Kind of like an old friend dropping by again to talk about the
This is my fifteenth season as “The Voice” and when you’ve been around
that long it’s tough to hide.
When I meet people for the first time they often say, “I feel like I know
you.” Well you might know me, but you really don “know” me, so as we kick
this column off today, here are some notes about “The Voice” I bet you
My last name is not Charles. Charles is my middle name. I can’t reveal my
Seriously, my proper last name is difficult to pronounce and a veteran
radio announcer who broke me into the business said, “You shouldn’t use it
on the air.” He said, “What’s your middle name?” I said “Charles.” He said,
“Jeff Charles!” I said OK.
Sure, I’ve been in Greenville a long time now, but I used to move around
a lot. We’ve lived in eight states: Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois,
Georgia, South Carolina, Virginia and of course North Carolina. That’s a lot
of different drivers licenses and a lot of speeding tickets.
My driving exploits are legendary. Probably missed my calling. I should
have been behind the wheel of a greyhound or big rig. A few years ago I did
get in a stock car at the Richard Petty driving experience in Charlotte.
Eight laps around gave me great appreciation for what those guys do every
Not only do I drive cars, I also ride motorcycles. You might see me on a
Honda Goldwing but you won’t recognize me. It’s the helmet, you know.
I’ve had four motorcycles. Motorcycle number three, a Yamaha 1100, was a
victim of Floyd. They don’t run very well after being submerged in five feet
Speaking of water, we live on the water, the Pamlico River in Washington.
No boats at this time — kayaks are much simpler, no engine problems and on
those days when I give my ‘ol legs a break from running, it’s a good
I run, but I’m not a runner. In Celina, Ohio, last month I ran in a 5k
race and about a half mile from the finish line a 74-year-old guy passed me.
Believe me, I wasn’t the only one he zipped by. He’s my hero... I hope at
Yes, I do lift weights regularly and seriously. No excuses to not work
out with the great facilities right outside my office door. You’ll see me in
the new Strength and Conditioning Center most days at twelve noon. I’m not
much of a lunch guy.
Okay, since you asked, the bench press max is 330. The goal is 350 but
father time is a tough opponent. The rep count is 225 pounds eighteen times.
I’m ready for the combine.
In another life, I played sports like most of you. Sportscasters and
sportswriters are frustrated athletes, and I had plenty to be frustrated
Baseball was my top priority. Our high school program competed in the big
school division in Ohio and was always pretty good. I played in summer
leagues, too, one year playing in two leagues with a game virtually every
night. Our coach approached every game as if it were the seventh game of the
World Series. We hit a losing streak and the next thing I know he goes out
and recruits the big guys from Dayton. I automatically became a utility
Great memories, though, and I wouldn’t trade those days for anything.
Life was a lot simpler then.
My work is my passion. My passion is my work. Rick Pitino’s book is “Born
to Coach.” I guess I was “Born to Announce.” Radio and television is all
I’ve ever done in my adult life and all I’ve ever wanted to do.
The broadcasting industry is fascinating and I still am amazed at how on
a clear summer night you can pick up baseball games from all over the
country on an AM radio. My dream was to work at one of those 50,000-watt
clear channel stations, and I did — at WSB in Atlanta in 1980 and 1981.
It’s a “trip” to sit behind a microphone and know that thirty-eight
states and a portion of Canada can hear you. I remember doing my talk show
sitting in Atlanta and getting a call from Toronto, Ontario, and the caller
saying, “We hear you clear at night.”
By now, I’ve probably bored you to death. The Pirates are much more
interesting and that’s what we’ll concentrate on in the coming weeks. Till
next time, “Keep Painting ’em Purple.”
Send an e-mail message to
Dig into Jeff Charles' Bonesville Archives.
02/23/2007 10:23:36 AM