A veteran performer and business entrepreneur
Scott Ebright’s energy and enthusiasm is legendary among all of his business associates throughout his life. He had a reputation for dreaming up profitable concepts in the entertainment realm that were successful and earned respectable notoriety throughout his career. Scott began performing in 1966 when he played drums in a dinner music trio that hauled in an impressive $10 per 2 hour show back when the minimum wage was only $1.00 per hour. Don Sovey was the band leader and electric guitarist and pianist Tom McCarville completed this trio as the played around Bay City and Essexville, MI.
When he was 15 years old, Scott was asked to join a rock band of older musicians called, “The Ides of March”. Later that year, the Ides of March won first place in a Midwest Battle-of-the-Bands contest that was sponsored by WKNX radio – one the hotter flame-throwing Top 40 Radio Stations in Michigan at the time. The battle was a 10 week ordeal with four bands competing every week to earn the right to move closer to the semi-finals and then, hopefully, the final showdown. Some of the name bands that played along side of the Ides of March were Ted Nugent and the Amboy Dukes, Bob Seger, the Rationals, and the Bossmen (later called The Frost). One year before, the battle of bands winner of a recording contract was Question Mark and the Mysterians, known for their million seller hit, “96 Tears”.
The Ides of March played at schools, resorts, and teen adult nightclubs throughout Michigan. After a year passed, the Ides of March recorded and released a single 45 RPM record where both sides of this single hit the record charts in the summer of 1967. (Click here and scroll to bottom of this page link to hear the earliest “Ides of March” recordings). The band became more and more popular as radio airplay reached audiences throughout Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana and Ohio and Canada.
When the Ides’ lead singer left the band to attend college, the band broke up and members went on to play with other local musicians in bands until they graduated from high school. After one year of taking broadcasting classes at college, Scott packed up all he owned in a single footlocker and flew out to San Francisco to meet the SF State professor who wrote his college textbook about broadcasting. But, when confronted by a 2 year waiting list for more broadcasting and filmmaking courses, he grew impatient and forged his way into the music business. He soon became a member of one band, then another, and four years later he was running his own talent agency from Mill Valley, CA. Several of the bands he played in or managed had a high public profile among a sea of other hippie bands in that golden era of California music.
From those early decades up through today, Scott’s stage appearances rotated back and forth between stints performing as a musician, studio drummer, singer, DJ, MC, or actor. He explains the alternating roles very simply: “I always went where the money was best. My basic goal was to keep a full calendar of booking dates”. The end result was a multi-faceted exposure to audiences that groomed him on his way to becoming an all-round performer.
Bookings increased at nightclubs and military bases in the early days to larger arenas like concert halls, and sports stadiums where Ebright has entertained millions of people over his career. His career path often included pairing him up in shows that included “A- List of Celebrities” from the music and movie industries. He has played live on TV and Radio and appeared in television shows and movies. When asked about his movie experience, Scott confesses,”I just don’t have the drive nor the time to sit around on movie sets waiting to become a known actor while paying my union dues and scrapping in the trenches among an army of wannabe actors for every audition that comes up.”. His lament continues, “It’s mostly a war of attrition: you have to go through an arduous audition and interview process and in the end – it just ‘ain’t worth’ the low pay”.
A strategic path behind business and promotions
But Scott Ebright’s career wasn’t just limited to that of a performer. He developed a strong sense of business savvy from his corporate experience with AT&T in San Francisco. After 3 years of seeing how the world’s largest corporation managed profits, he resigned and launched his first entertainment agency (Ellison Scott Promotions – ESP). He had a natural flair with entrepreneurial skills that included building his reputation as a highly successful Talent Agent and Personal Artist’s manager. in the early-mid 1970’s.
His unique stage shows earned him respectability as a true innovator who spawned the newest, latest fads or directions for live entertainment. Scott spawned a whole new entertainment genre by producing tribute show bands. Fans and critics described his showbands as “Dazzling….High Energy….and Slick”. This was a fitting description since his show bands incorporated costume changes, choreography and intricate stage lighting. “Jesse King as Elvis” was one of the very first Elvis Tributes. This band enjoyed a high degree of success touring the West Coast, New York and the Southeastern United States. And this experience producing an Elvis impersonator led to his next bigger act…
Produced shows with Dick Clark (American Bandstand) and Jerry Lewis
When Elvis died in August 1977, this triggered a joint venture between Scott and producer-manager Chet Actis (ICA TALENT, Hollywood) and Dick Clark (American Bandstand). This trio went into high gear while promoting Alan – A Tribute to Elvis” which was the first Elvis tribute to ever perform in Las Vegas and on nationally syndicated TV shows world-wide. Other show bands benefitting from their management and promotion were RAIN: A Tribute to the Beatles, and Vince Vance and the Valiants (aka Andy Stone and the Valiants).
Scott’s role with this management team was Booking Agent, Public Relations and Record Sales. He kept a heavy stream of press kits and phone communications flowing to over 5,000 mainstream media contacts across the entire world. Alan’s Elvis act appeared in several foreign countries like Germany, England, Israel, Italy, Australia, and Japan. His record album went SOLID GOLD, generating over 500,000 units sold at concert appearances or by direct mail. Alan was interviewed and promoted on the covers of national magazines like People Magazine, US magazine, the National Enquirer, and Rona Barrett’s Hollywood Gossip magazine, along with hundreds of other magazines and newspapers world-wide. Alan: A Tribute to Elvis performed on syndicated TV network shows like the Donnie and Marie Osmond Show, Phil Donahue, Midnight Special, In Concert, American Bandstand, the Jerry Lewis Telethon (Vegas), the Mike Douglas show, Merv Griffin and the David Susskind Show (NY).
Jerry Lewis frequently booked Alan’s Elvis tribute to perform on his annual live telethon in Vegas. Jerry’s appreciation and respect for this tribute singer culminated into an investment doing a cable TV special based upon Alan’s Las Vegas Show selling out crowds at the Tropicana Hotel. The Robert Stigwood Group was the video production company for this venture (selected for their box office smash successes with movies like “Saturday Night Fever” and “Grease”. The timing for the production of this specials was only 3 months after the death of Elvis Presley and Elvis fans went bonkers over going to see the next best thing to their idol: Alan: A Tribute to Elvis.
Generated gross sales into tens of millions!
During the late 1970’s through 1980’s , Ebright’s talent and music marketing skills resulted in corporate job assignments of as Entertainment Director, Head Disc Jockey, Creative Events Consultant, and VP of Marketing for the Hilton Pointe Resorts in Phoenix, AZ (Gosnell Development Corp.) and the Hilton Hotel in Sacramento, CA.
He also transformed old worn-out nightclubs into top grossing venues (owned by investors and the Grace Corporation) all over CA, NV and AZ. Known for a successful track record of profitable entertainment concepts and unique creative ideas, Scott’s input turned profit goals into reality with his “Midas Touch” on every fledging business property he was assigned to resurrect. The nickname of “Nightclub Doctor” became a moniker stemming from his ability to resurrect dying nightclubs with a winning record of 33 wins, and 0 losses! (As defined by annual gross sales over previous years.) His primary focus instituted highly energetic music formats for nightclubs, embellished by big screen music videos and monthly theme parties that grew corporate profits by well over $50 million dollars from 1977 to 1991. (Adjusted for inflation, this is comparable to well over $100 million dollars in terms of 2017).
From the 1990’s through the present, Ebright became a playwright and he produced a popular acting troupe of movie and TV actors to perform a higher caliber version of Murder Mystery Dinner Theater Shows. Their performances were always exclusive private dinner parties for his corporate client base from the Silicon Valley in California. He has booked over a thousand shows with top corporate management in many Fortune 500 companies. His client list includes repeat bookings with Intuit, Apple, Google, eBay, Twitter, PayPal, Facebook, IBM, Genentech, Cisco Systems, Oracle and EUarts to name only a few. (See expanded client list).
If you really like people, you’ll succeed in business
Scott considers all of his business clients and associates to be family since his work associates and projects preempted any long term romantic relationships, marriage or children. But Scott’s dedication to his jam-packed work always rewarded him when high visibility nightclubs or show bands always came to full fruition.
He really enjoys meeting new people, regardless of social class or financial ranking. Scott claims, “Everyone has something to offer and it’s up to me to discern what their gift is.” He likes working with people from all walks of life and is dead serious about a strong work ethic backed with honesty and integrity. Add to this a keen sense of humor and you have the sum total of Scott’s winning success formula.