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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

Chapter:
(p.28) 3 Darkest America 1896–99
Source:
That Moaning Saxophone
Author(s):

Bruce Vermazen

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195372182.003.0003

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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