DFW Music News

A History of DJ Tony Schwa's Legendary Party The Cool Out, Which is Back at Crown and Harp

You could hear it from the sidewalk, salsa, disco and funk seeping through the Cavern's grimy walls, wrapping itself around your legs and jarring your equilibrium out of its drunken stupor and back to it's natural positioning.

This was The Cool Out in the mid 2000's, when a night out in Dallas was like a scene from a Bret Easton Ellis novel, and probably serves as the setting for your best drunken hook-up memory. After a two-year hiatus and venue change, The Cool Out has returned on Mondays at The Crown and Harp.

Who would have guessed that those tropical sounds, curated from the fingertips of DJ Tony Schwa and Big J, traveled in Biblical fashion from a small record store in Allentown, Pennsylvania.

In the mid to late '70s Schwa's father operated Sid's Records, specializing in salsa, disco and funk. And how did a small record store with a emphasis on coastal and European grooves end up in a blue-collar Pennsylvanian town?

"He's Puerto Rican, it's in our blood," he says with a laugh.

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Lee Escobedo