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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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Darkest America 1896–99

Darkest America 1896–99

(p.28) 3 Darkest America 1896–99
That Moaning Saxophone

Bruce Vermazen

Oxford University Press

In this chapter, Tom Brown plays his first paid job (on clarinet) and leaves Lindsay, probably in 1899, to join a minstrel show, probably Guy Brothers' Minstrels. This event was the beginning of his long career as a professional musician. Descriptions are given of the Guy Brothers' Minstrels performances in the 1890s, of stage versions of Harriett Beecher Stowe's novel Uncle Tom's Cabin (“Tom shows”), and of a traveling show with an African American cast called Darkest America. Tom was employed in the first two and may have seen the third. His education with respect to non-whites is speculated upon. Life in traveling shows is outlined.

Keywords:   Tom Brown, minstrel shows, Guy Brothers' Minstrels, Uncle Tom's Cabin, Tom shows, Darkest America, traveling shows

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