Jimmy O'Neill (DJ)

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Jimmy O'Neill
Jimmy O'Neill Shindig.JPG
O'Neill as the host of Shindig!, 1964.
James Franklin O'Neill

(1940-01-08)January 8, 1940
DiedJanuary 11, 2013(2013-01-11) (aged 73)
Cause of deathComplications caused by acute diabetes
OccupationDeejay, radio personality, TV host, producer
Years active1959-1999

James Franklin O'Neill (January 8, 1940 – January 11, 2013) was an American DJ and broadcaster who hosted the ABC television show Shindig! from 1964-1966.[1] O'Neill was owner of Pandora's Box, an influential Sunset Strip music venue in West Hollywood, California that was the center of the 1966 Sunset Strip curfew riots.

Life and career[edit]

O'Neill was born in Enid, Oklahoma.[2] After taking a broadcasting class at Enid High School, he began his career in radio at KGWA in Enid in 1957 and then moved to WKY in Oklahoma City, OK in 1958. One year later O'Neill landed a job at KQV in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania at age 19.[3] He also worked at WCAE. He was hired at KRLA in Los Angeles, CA a year after working at KQV.

O'Neill was the first voice heard on KRLA-AM when it switched from a country-western format to top 40.[4] He worked at KRLA-AM from 1959-1962, then moved to KFWB from 1963 to 1967. He spent two years at KDAY from 1969 to 1971. He also hosted The Jimmy O'Neill Show on KCOP-TV.

After O'Neill moved to Los Angeles, Chuck Barris, then-ABC daytime programming executive, green-lit the pilot for Shindig!. The nationally syndicated show ran from 1964-1966.[5] He and his show were depicted on The Flintstones television animated sitcom in the season six episode "Shinrock A Go-Go," which originally aired on December 3, 1965. This episode featured O'Neill, as "Jimmy O'Neillstone", hosting the Bedrock analogue of Shindig, called "Shinrock"; that program featured as one of the guest performers The Beau Brummels (as "The Beau Brummelstones") performing their recent hit, Laugh, Laugh.[6]

In the 1970s, he worked at KOB in Albuquerque, then it was on to Omaha, Nebraska, radio stations WOW (now KXSP) and KOIL. He returned to Los Angeles for two more stints at KRLA from 1984-1985 and from 1990-1993.

He retired in the mid 1990s and lived in West Hollywood, California. O'Neill died in his West Hollywood home five days after his 73rd birthday.[7]

Personal life[edit]

O'Neill was married three times, including to songwriter Sharon Sheeley, to socialite Eve I. Johnson and to Renee Whitman O'Neill; he had one son (James) and one daughter (Katy), as well as one stepson (Robin) and one stepdaughter (Megan).[1]


  1. ^ a b Woo, Elaine (January 14, 2013). Jimmy O'Neill dies at 73; L.A. deejay hosted TV's 'Shindig!' Los Angeles Times
  2. ^ Zorn, Phyllis (January 15, 2013). Variety show host O’Neill, Enid native, dies at 73. Enid News & Eagle
  3. ^ Thompson, Ruth E. (May 29, 1965). 'Shindig's Jimmy O'Neill started as chorister. Gettysburg Times
  4. ^ Kienzle, Rich (January 16, 2013). Jimmy O'Neill, ex-'Burgh DJ & ABC "Shindig!" Host: 1940-2013. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
  5. ^ Staff report (September 16, 1994). Shake, Rattle, and 'Shindig!' Entertainment Weekly
  6. ^ Childs, T. Mike (2004). The Rocklopedia Fakebandica. New York: St. Martin's Press. p. 14. ISBN 978-0-312-32944-0.
  7. ^ Joyce, Ed (January 15, 2013). LA DJ Jimmy O'Neill dead at 73, hosted TV's 'Shindig!' KPCC

External links[edit]