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That Moaning SaxophoneThe Six Brown Brothers and the Dawning of a Musical Craze$
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Bruce Vermazen

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195372182

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195372182.001.0001

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Between Showings

Between Showings

(p.174) 14 Between Showings
That Moaning Saxophone

Bruce Vermazen

Oxford University Press

From May to September 1924, the Six Brown Brothers and Their Thirty-Piece Saxophone Band toured as a between-movies attraction in cinemas from the Midwest to the East Coast. Despite the attraction's successes, Variety compared them unfavorably to more conventional dance bands. From December 1924 until March 1925, the Brothers (without the Saxophone Band) toured in Australian vaudeville. During May-August 1925, Tom fronted his own Forty Famous Minstrels (without the Six Brown Brothers) in cinemas, and from October 1925 until some time in 1927, he toured vaudeville and cinemas with His Merry Minstrel Orchestra, a jazz band that recorded for Okeh in 1925 and 1926. In 1926, Tom and Theresa Valerio divorced. The Brothers act was revived in July 1927 as a feature traveling with the Merry Minstrels and continued as an independent unit after the Merry Minstrels disbanded. The combined attraction made a Vitaphone short in 1927.

Keywords:   Six Brown Brothers, Thirty-Piece Saxophone Band, dance bands, Australian vaudeville, Forty Famous Minstrels, Merry Minstrel Orchestra, Vitaphone

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