The theme for the celebrity event is “Hollywood Lights, Hollywood Nights,” with proceeds benefiting Habitat for Humanity of Cleveland, BSR Angel Flight, the American Cancer Society and other charitable organizations, according to Mark Rodgers, a member of Bradley Sunrise Rotary and gala chairman.
Eubanks won five Emmy’s including a lifetime achievement award from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in 2005. TV Guide named him one of the top five Game Show Hosts of all time, being the only game show personality to host the same format with original programming for five decades. As one of the top TV producers, he produced network and syndicated game shows as well as TV variety shows, earning him a prestigious star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
As a concert producer, he brought some of the biggest concerts ever to California including the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan and many other legendary performers.
Explaining how he was able to do both simultaneously, Eubanks said in a telephone interview, “The Newlywed Game only took 35 days a year and the way game shows are produced — you do two days one week and three days the next week and so forth. So I had a lot of time. In 1964 when the Beatles did “The Ed Sullivan Show,” I was working at the No. 1 rock ‘n’ roll station in Los Angeles, and they announced they were going to tour America. So I borrowed $25,000 on my house and I presented the Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl. That was the beginning of a 20-year concert promotion career. I did the Beatles from 1964 to 1966. I did the Rolling Stones for two years, Elton John, Barry Manilow, Cream, the Who — you name them. I did them all. It was fun. I had a good time with it.”
In 1966, Eubanks started “The Newlywed Game” and continued his concert promotion until 1982. During that time he became one of the largest concert promoters in America, producing more than 100 concerts per year nationwide. He also managed and crafted the careers of Dolly Parton and Barbara Mandrell. Each year he can be seen all over the world, hosting the Tournament of Roses New Year’s Day Parade, for Tribune Broadcasting, The Travel Channel and the Hallmark Channel.
Now, at age 75, Eubanks is one of the world’s leading keynote motivational speakers, displaying that same quick wit, charismatic charm and delightful humor that brought joy and laughter to millions and inspired a generation of game show host imitators.
When asked about his secret to a long and successful career, Eubanks said, “My theory in life is that you constantly have to keep reinventing yourself. You have to take your strengths and put them somewhere else.
“No one is going to hire me to do another game show. So I take all of my stories and I speak to corporate America. You have to take what you know and use it in other areas. That’s what I’ve been able to do.
“I have some contemporaries that sit at home waiting for the phone to ring, and they get angry because the phone will never ring. You just can’t do that.”
Regarding his unique ability to transcend every show he was on, Eubanks admits, “There are shows for hosts and hosts for shows. Alex Trebek on ‘Jeopardy’ could not do ‘The Newlywed Game,’ because he’s not a rascal. I was a rascal! Bob Barker (“The Price is Right”) is a rascal. Monty Hall, (“Let’s Make a Deal”) to an extent, was a rascal. But then I couldn’t do Jeopardy, man. I can’t even pronounce Trebek’s name! The Newlywed Game was a comedy show that just happened to have a game involved. And that’s what I did best.”
Eubanks, who also has producer credits as a filmmaker, said he is currently raising funds to produce a family film that already has a built-in audience and global interest.
“It’s called ‘The Good, the Bad and the Goalie,’” he said. “My little boy is heavily into soccer and with the World Cup coming, the country is really going to be alerted to soccer. So I want to release this children’s movie, if I can, sometime around next summer. I’m in the process of raising money for that. When you produce a film you hope you’ll have an audience. Well, I’ve got the audience! I just need the $5 million to do the film. And I’ll find it, I’m sure, because it’s a slam-dunk deal.”
As far as his first visit to The City With Spirit is concerned, Eubanks, a real people person, said he is excited to come to Cleveland, and hopes to meet many of its fine citizens and accomplish what Bradley Sunrise Rotary Sunset Gala has invited him to do.
“They have a goal that they need to raise a certain amount of money, and I hope I can help them do that,” Eubanks said. “I hope my presence will sell tickets for them and when I get there I will do the live auction. They’re going to auction off some wonderful stuff. It’s such a wonderful charity. A lot of the money goes to Habitat for Humanity, Angel Flight, Salvation Army and The American Cancer Society. I just hope I can help them reach their goal.”
A five-star dinner will be served at 6:45 p.m., followed by a live auction inside the museum. Attendees will stroll down “Rodeo Drive” to view auction items while enjoying live entertainment, cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. The auction items will include an African safari hunt, a Sea Pines vacation package, several firearms, a new wedding dress and season tickets to University of Tennessee football games.
Those attending the Hollywood Lights, Hollywood Nights gala event will walk down the red carpet, complete with adoring fans, paparazzi and interviews by local television and radio personalities Sarah Jennings and Steve Hartline, according to Rodgers.
For further information about tickets and the event, visit www.sunrisegala.com or www.bradleysunriserotary.com.