Bob Eubanks may be best known as the roguish host of television's “The Newlywed Game,” but he initially made his mark as the Top 40 radio DJ who first brought the Beatles to Los Angeles for a Hollywood Bowl concert on Aug. 23, 1964.
Eubanks — a onetime doorman at the Egyptian Theatre, where his Walk of Fame star is located — got a job as a disc jockey at pop music station KRLA-AM (1110) in 1960 at 22. He also co-owned a youth-oriented nightclub in Studio City, the Cinnamon Cinder, where he booked emerging acts including the Beach Boys, the Righteous Brothers, Ike and Tina Turner and Stevie Wonder.
Like much of America, he saw the Beatles perform on “The Ed Sullivan Show” in February 1964, and “the electricity ... that night came through my television and struck me like lightning,” Eubanks said. When he learned that the group was going to tour the United States but hadn't committed to Los Angeles, he was determined to book them.
Within weeks, after several banks rejected him upon learning his intent, he mortgaged his Hidden Hills home for $25,000 to secure the band. When tickets went on sale in April, four months before the show, frenzied fans snapped up all 18,000 within four hours. Eubanks paid off his loan, made a profit and brought the Beatles back the next year for two more Hollywood Bowl concerts.
At the time of the initial show, KRLA was locked in a fierce ratings battle with rival KFWB-AM (980), then a pop music station. After that, KRLA began calling itself “the Beatle station in America” and shot to No. 1 in the ratings.
Though Eubanks' star is for his work in radio, many know him not only for his work on the “The Newlywed Game,” but also his years as cohost, with Stephanie Edwards, of the Tournament of Roses Parade on KTLA. In 2005, he received a lifetime achievement award from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. And, according to his biography, he's also “a gold card member of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association.”
Eubanks continued promoting concerts, in addition to his radio and TV work, eventually putting on more than 100 shows a year, working with the Rolling Stones, Barry Manilow, Elton John and Bob Dylan, among others.
–- Cecilia Rasmussen in the Los Angeles Times