Ebo Delroy Taylor in our opinion is one of the most valuable composers and skilled guitarists we have in highlife music. Born in Saltpond in 1936 Taylor began learning to play the guitar as a schoolboy, and learnt how to play the local ‘palmwine’ style of the highlife by two equally important acoustic guitarists in his area, Kwaa Mensah and Kwame Asare (Jacob Sam).
In 1957 Taylor moved to Kumasi to play with the Stargazers Band where they released his first compositions: ‘Mensu’ ‘Onyimpa Neber Ara Nyi’ and ‘Dance Highlife Hits’. From 1962 - 1965 Taylor had been given a scholarship from President Kwame Nkrumah to study music in London at the Eric Guilder School of Music. Whilst in London Taylor formed the Black Star Band with Teddy Osei, Eddie Quansah, George Aikins and Osacrmore Ofori.
From 1962 to 1965, Taylor lived in London, where he studied at the Eric Gilder School Of Music. Between 1965 - 1970 Taylor returned to Ghana to set up the New Broadway Dance Band and the Blue Monks. Both bands included the legendary Pat Thomas, who rose at the height of his career with the Sweet Beans. In the early 1970s, Taylor was well known as the in-house guitarist, producer and arranger for the prolific and influential Essiebons Label. Making innovative hits such as ‘Twer Nyame’, ‘Heaven’, ‘Come Along’ and ‘Love & Death’.
Although the 1980s was a difficult time for many musicians like Taylor due to the military government, he still actively became involved with the dynamic Accra Jazz scene. From then until the 1990s, His career continued to expand and even in his 80s, Taylor is still an active contributor to Highlife music today.
Collins, J., 2018. Highlife Time 3. 3rd ed. Accra: DAkpabli & Associates.
Collins, J., 2017. Highlife Giants. Cassava Republic Press.
Owusu, K. and Mazzoleni, F., 2012. Ghana Highlife music. [Pantin]: Le Castor Astral.
Oti, S., 2009. Highlife music in West Africa. Lagos, Nigeria: Malthouse Press.
Researched and Written by Paulina Nkansah