Tyrone Ebo - Hustle / Disco WCS + Salsa


Tyrone Ebo -
by Ron Bess



Growing up in Northeast Philadelphia gave him unlimited exposure to the sports, mom & pop businesses and the fine arts. He was drawn towards the fashion sector but he had a greater calling. Living in a home that vibrated from music, Tyrone Ebo, would muti task at an early age, knocking down all those doors of opportunites. He had music in his blood.

His father played the saxophone part time in a jazz band while his older brother became a national singing artist. As a student of Temple University, Tyrone majored in business administration. At night, after he closed his books he partnered with his younger brother Ken to co host promotional parties, fashion shows and glitzy dance events. They would typically rent halls, hire dance teachers and bring in Disc Jockeys to play the music. Their goal was simple: deliver something different and exciting to attendees. For the Ebo brothers, they perceived the concept of tucking the DJ away in a hidden corner as bland. Tyrone wanted the DJ to be transparent, visually entertaining, dead center of all the action. With a great love for dance and music, Tyrone applied his savvy business skills, in efforts to reduce the over head and improve the quantitative results. He decided to enrich the atmosphere by personally DJing at his own events. "We were playing music that included a show, singing, dancing, entertaining, so those in the audience were always entertained", explains Tyrone. "We use to have Joan DeMarco teach dance lessons at our events", shares Tyrone. "I was just a street dancer that watched and learned". He didn't' get just good he went from ordinary to extraordinary. His free style sent the crowd into a roar as folks would clear the floor just to watch him. He would continue to perfect his steps as he would frequent some of the popular clubs in the Philadelphia / New Jersey market, where he did everything from free style to touch dancing. He loved "The Big Apple", "The Library", "Some Place Else" and "The Second Story". When he visited New York, " he patronized 'Paradise Garage' and the 'Red Parrot'. Like the music he spun, he was creating a name for himself thru the disco grapevine, that's when he received a call to audition for a DJ position in the Sheraton Hotel. He had interviewed for the spot but was rejected by management based on his asking price. Then a couple weeks later, on his 21st birthday, he received a call back. The club was in dire straits and needed an established DJ, for that very evening. "I took all my records, about 20 cases with me" explains Tyrone, " I had never been there before and I didn't even know what type of music I would be playing". The club was packed as the popular singing group the " Dovells" were performing. The format was designed for the DJ to spin records during the bands breaks. Tyrone pulled out his crowd pleasers, "Soul City Walker" and "Turn the Beat Around, " but to his surprise nobody danced. After the next set, as he peeked out from behind the curtain, he experienced the same results, nobody was dancing to his music. Once the manger pulled open the curtain providing an unobscured view of Tyrone doing his thing, the dance floor became packed. His style mobilized people to want to dance. He had a pulse on the synergy of combining the music and the energy of dancers. In 1974 he accepted the DJ job spinning at Cahoots located in the Sheraton Hotel in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. The club would continue to hire popular bands while Tyrone would spin during their breaks. Then in 1976 they became a dedicated disco where the DJ was the center piece. The new upscale design had a glass DJ booth where you could watch Tyrone dancing and putting on his show. The country was energized with the discotheque phenomenon that was spreading from coast to coast. The hotel management was aggressively looking for cutting edge concepts and sent Tyrone around the country to research ideas to help enhance the club. The owners had the foresight applied due diligence to create a unique club setting. Tyrone now worked exclusively at the new club which was renamed Scintillations. This would be come his new home until 1989. Scintillations was recognized as the number one club and maintained that status for the next five years. Behind the turntables every Monday thru Saturday you would find Tyrone. Driving the success of the club went beyond just physically spinning the music. He was responsible for presenting a monthly calendar and business plan to hotel management. With an entrepreneurial spirit he developed a creative business model with new innovations to draw customers in on a daily basis. "We loved to create a reaction from the crowd", explains Tyrone ."We put dancers on the speakers way before anyone else did ". Creativity was abundant in the Ebo family. Tyrone's older brother David became the lead singer for the popular band "Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes", after Teddy Pendagrass left the band. David remained the lead singer for the next 15 years. His younger brother Ken became a radio DJ with FM station WDAS, in Philadelphia, and was the DJ at "Club Impulse" located on Broad Street in Philadelphia. The Ebo brothers quickly befriended "Club Impulse's" manager, whom today is none other then the honorable City Mayor, Michael Nutter. Tyrone was committed to the club setting 24/7. He was an active member of the Pocono Record Pool and then Bob Pantera's Record Pool. He accepted a reporter position for Billboard Magazine providing them insight on the up coming hot songs. Every week he would post his top song picks for the magazine. Major record labels depended on knowledgeable DJ's like Tyrone to help break a new song getting it the exposure and ultimate air play it required. A representative from MoTown Records brought the single "Momma Use To Say" by Junior, for Tyrone to play. "He brought it to me first, I was the only one playing it at the time", shares Tyrone.

" Promoters would come to you to break the song in. The records ultimately would go Gold".
For 15 years, Tyrone would be at the helm of one of the most popular clubs in the tri state area but he made a critical decision to make some career changes. His older brother David had an incredible singing career with the Blue Notes and then a solo album including the big hit "I would rather be myself". David tragically passed away at the young age of 43 from Bone Cancer. His death had a profound effect on Tyrone which subsequently made him take stock of his own career and life. Tyrone always loved fashion and the garment industry was where he desired to be. He already had the skills to make his own clothing and he had even owned his own tailor shop. It was now time to grasp this career opportunity. He'll never forget the incredible memories of " Scintillations" which later became "Club Shadows" and now ICE. Over the years spinning, he has amassed a collection of over 20,000 vinyl records. One of his greatest memories was when he met singing sensation Diana Ross at the club. She was performing at the Valley Forge Music Fair to promote her hit "I'm Coming Out'. Her management wanted to keep her visit at Scintillations low key but, Diane had her own agenda, as she wanted to visit the DJ booth. She asked Tyrone to play her songs and the club went into a frenzy once they saw the Diva in the DJ booth. Tyrone continues to keep his hands in the music business as he will be co hosting the up coming 30 year reunion of Scintillations. It will be held on October 2nd, Friday night. It will feature Tyrone, the original resident DJ along with some of the original dancers and staff members including Ron Campli and Dave Wenntin. It takes place at the old Scintillations Club, now known as Club Ice at the Old Sheraton in King of Prussia. The party starts at 6pm. Tyrone is on a mission to keep the music, the dancing and the energy alive. Look for more reunions and dance events hosted by Tyrone. For more details visit www.scintillations.net



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