Bob Eubanks: East Tennessee music icon

Susan EspirituFountain City

  • For the common things of everyday
  • God gave us speech in the common way
  • And He gave to the poets’ words to reveal
  • The deeper things we think and feel…
  • But for heights and depths no word could reach,
  • God gave us music – the soul’s own speech

Above is a framed poem by an anonymous author titled Music which speaks to love of worship music and is displayed in the living room of Bob and Pam Eubanks, given to Bob by a choir member years ago. Bob is the choir director of Fountain City Presbyterian Church and his wife of 45 years, Pam, who is the former Pam Ellenburg, 1972 Central graduate, also sings in the choir under his direction.

“My love for music began as a young child standing at my mother’s knee as she played hymns on the piano,” recalls Bob. His mother, Jewell Caldwell Eubanks, was church pianist at West Lonsdale Baptist Church in Knoxville for over 60 years.

Bob Eubanks and Jean Meyer

Bob’s love for music grew at Rule High School under the direction of Jean Meyer who introduced him to barbershop quartet harmony and acapella singing. It was under her guidance he sang in his first barbershop quartet competition. Since that time, Bob has sung baritone or bass with multiple quartets competing on district and international levels. Four of those quartets won their district competitions.

Bob has amassed multiple recognitions, accomplishments and accolades throughout his lifetime.

At the age of 21, Bob was hired as the director for the Knoxville Smokyland Barbershop Chorus and was recognized nationally as the youngest director in the Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barber Shop Quartet Singing in America (SPEBSQSA).

In 1975, Bob received his degree in music education at UTK where he was in the UT Singers and Concert Choir. While working on a master’s in music, he was one of the first assistant directors for Dr. Don Neuen.

Bob was All-Sing director for Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity from 1974-94. The group won competitions yearly with their barbershop songs and in 1980, the All Sing group was flown to Denver to sing at the fraternity’s national convention.

One of the All Sing groups was asked to make a local commercial for CBS’s morning show campaign so Bob wrote a barbershop arrangement for the campaign theme song and the commercial was used nationally.

He also directed the Knoxville Sweet Adelines chorus for several years in the 1980s.

Among other accolades Bob spent several years as the vocal coach for the Black Bear Dinner Theatre and was the first general manager for The Miracle Theatre, both in Pigeon Forge.

Bob’s call into the music ministry began in the Baptist church at the age of 18, when he was hired to lead choral worship in a local Baptist church. He served as part time and interim music director at many Knox County Baptist churches before being called to Fountain City Presbyterian Church in 2003. As a member, I can say that everyone who comes to our church is impacted by our music ministry led by Bob.

He was honored Sunday morning at Fountain City Presbyterian Church for his 20 years of music ministry as the choir and congregation surprised him with Happy Anniversary to the tune of Happy Birthday, as he was prepared to lead the anthem.

Angela Bell (far left) prepares to present plaque to Bob Eubanks (center) in recognition for 20 years of service to FCPC

His talents are many and his story continues with his calling to music as he leads and mentors students who are pursuing their vocal music education through his music ministry at Fountain City Presbyterian Church and as one congregant, I can’t imagine the sanctuary music without him leading it.

All of us have a story and I want to tell yours! Send them to


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *