Bruce Vermazen Papers, Research Files and Music Instruments on Tom Brown

Overview

Scope and Contents

Biographical Note

Subject Terms

Detailed Description

Tom Brown Music and Papers

Bruce Vermazen Personal Papers and Research Files on Tom Brown



Contact us about this collection

Finding Aid for Bruce Vermazen Papers, Research Files and Music Instruments on Tom Brown, 1890-2020 | The Sousa Archives and Center for American Music

By Kelli McQueen, Maia Perez, Vinny Bartholomew, Marc Beans, Tom Hardy, Ani Karagianis, Haley White

[Printer Friendly] | [Contact us about this collection]

Collection Overview

Title: Bruce Vermazen Papers, Research Files and Music Instruments on Tom Brown, 1890-2020Add to your cart.View associated digital content.

ID: 12/9/168

Primary Creator: Vermazen, Bruce

Other Creators: Brown, Tom (1881-1950)

Extent: 17.5 cubic feet

Date Acquired: 06/22/2020

Subjects: Minstrel Show, Vaudeville

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

Consists of Bruce Vermazen's research on Tom Brown, which includes Tom Brown's performance papers, scrapbooks, recorded music, and musical instruments and Bruce Vermazen's research notes, personal correspondence, and publishing information for the book That Moaning Saxophone. The collection is organized into two series. Series one concerns Tom Brown's music and papers, and series two centers around Bruce Vermazen's papers. Series one is organized into six subseries and arranged by content type. Subseries one consists of performance photographs, papers, and materials. Subseries two consists of scrabooks. Subseries three consists of sheet music. Subseries four consists of the Metronome Orchestra Monthly. Subseries five consists of audio recordings. Subseries six consists of seven music instruments. Subseries one is arranged chronologically, subseries two is arranged chronologically by earliest date, subseries three is arranged alphabetically, subseries four is arranged chronologically by date and issue, subseries five is arranged alphabetically by recording company, and subseries six is arranged by type of instrument. Series two is organized into three subseries. Subseries one is labeled research files, subseries two is labeled book project files, and subseries three is labeled personal papers. Subseries one is arranged alphabetically by content or creator, and subseries two and three are arranged chronologically by date of creation.

Collection Historical Note

Tom Brown (1881-1950) was born on March 27, 1881 in Ottawa, Ontario. As the second oldest child of seven children, Tom grew up in a musical household. Tom first learned cornet at the age of four from his father Allan, who was a cornettist and band leader in both Ottawa and Toronto. In 1890, Tom began performing the clarinet in the 45th Battery Band of Bowmanville Ontario, a Canadian military band that was led by his father. Tom spent a large portion of his childhood attending musical events at the Opera House in Lindsay, Ontario, it was here that he witnessed his first minstrel show. In 1897, Tom received his first professional appointment as a musician performing as a parade clarinetest for the Guy Brother's Minstrels during their brief stay in Lindsay. Unlike other professional minstrel shows and circus bands that traveled up to 150 miles by train to each new performance location, the Guy Brother's minstrels was a"mud show" that traveled from town to town with a horse and carriage. After spending two years with the Guy Brother's show, Tom joined the Ringling Brother's Circus Band during its 1899 concert tour. By 1903, Tom and his brother Percy began to perform as featured soloists with the Walter L. Main Enormous Show Circus Band. It was during this year that Tom briefly met his future wife, an actress by the name of Theresa Valerio. Midway through the tour, Tom and Percy left the circus because Tom was offered the opportunity to become the leader of the Guy Brothers Minstrels.

Tom led the Guy Brother's Minstrels on a 1904 vaudeville tour of the American Midwest. Sometime during this tour, he renamed the ensemble the Brown Brother's Band. In 1906, the Brown Brothers were added to the Ringling Brother's circus tour. By 1906, the Brown Brothers began appearing as comedy trio with George "Doc" Healy, who was formerly a blackface circus clown with Ringling Brothers. In 1909, Tom renamed the ensemble the Five Brown Brothers. This ensemble included Tom as featured soloist and four of his five brothers, Percy, Alec, Vern, and Fred performing as a saxophone quintet. Their first major appearance occurred with the Broadway Gaiety Girls company of New York.

By 1911, Tom's eldest brother William had joined the group and the ensemble was renamed the Six Brown Brothers. During this time, the brothers performed in clown costumes with Tom in blackface. The group's stage costumes reflected Tom's time with both the Guy Brothers Minstrels and the Ringling Brothers Circus. At various points when the group performed as a sextet, the ensemble also featured some non-family members, including Billy Markwith, Harry Fink, and Matthew Amaturo. During this year, the Six Brown Brothers also recorded their first phonograph recordings for the United States and Columbia Phonography companies. From 1912-1914, the group traveled with Primrose and Dockstader's Minstrels. From 1914-1923, the ensemble was hired to play as the pit orchestra for several Broadway shows. These shows included Chin Chin (1914-1917), Jack o Lantern (1917-1920), Midnight Frolic (1918-1919), Tip Top (1920-1923), and The Bunch and Judy (1923). Many of these shows starred Theresa Valerio, who married Tom Brown after they appeared together in Chin Chin.

After performing for nearly a decade on Broadway, Tom led the ensemble on road-tour called Black and White Revue of 1924. Following this failed tour, the Six Brown Brothers took their vaudeville show to Canada and Australia. The Six Brown Brothers disbanded in 1933, but Tom Brown continued performing as a soloist until 1944. After WWII, Tom moved to Chicago, Illinois where he opperated the Tom Brown Music Company, a publishing company and music store that sold musical instruments. Tom Brown died on August 29, 1950 in Chicago, Illinois.

Biographical Note

Bruce Vermazen was born in 1940. Vermazen earned his bachelors and masters degrees in Philosophy at the University of Chicago in 1961 and 1962, respectively. In 1967, he received a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Stanford University. Soon after, Vermazen became a Professor of Philosophy at the University of California Berkeley. In 1978, he became interested in ragtime and began performing cornet with the Chrysanthemum Ragtime Band. He later served as the band's music director and announcer. In the 1980s, Vermazen began publishing articles on historic ragtime musicians in the San Francisco area including: Jay Roberts, Art Hickman, and the Brown Brothers. In the 1990s, Vermazen began playing cornet with the San Francisco Starlight Orchestra. After retiring in 2000, he published That Moaning Saxophone: The Six Brown Brothers and the Dawning of a Musical Craze. During the early 2000s, Vermazen also became a member of the Hillcrest Wind Ensemble. In 2005, he and Bob Pinsker founded the Heliotrope Ragtime Orchestra, an esemble he still co-leads and performs with to this day. Vermazen currently lives in San Diego with his spouse Juan Miguel Godoy.

Subject/Index Terms

Minstrel Show
Vaudeville


Box and Folder Listing


Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Tom Brown Music and Papers, ca. 1900-1954],
[Series 2: Bruce Vermazen Personal Papers and Research Files on Tom Brown],
[All]

Series 2: Bruce Vermazen Personal Papers and Research Files on Tom BrownAdd to your cart.
Consists of Bruce Vermazen's research files, book project files, and personal papers. It is organized into three subseries. The first subseries is labeled research files and consists of notes, clippings, articles, and images used for researching That Moaning Saxophone. It is arranged alphabetically by content or creator. The second subseries is labeled book project files and consists of notes, correspondence, and publishing information for That Moaning Saxophone. It is arranged chronologically by date of creation. The third subseries is labeled personal papers and consists of articles and correspondence not related to the book. It is arranged chronologically by date of creation.
Sub-Series 1: Research FilesAdd to your cart.
Consists of  notes, articles, clippings, correspondence, and images used for research to write That Moaning Saxophone. It is arranged alphabetically by content or creator.
Box 12Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Alaska Trip, 1923Add to your cart.
Folder 2: All-American Vaudeville, 1914-1998Add to your cart.
Folder 3: The American Circus, 1984Add to your cart.
Folder 4: Articles, Correspondences, and Clippings about Instruments and Jazz, 1920-1998Add to your cart.
Folder 5: Australia, 1925Add to your cart.
Folder 6: Australia and 30 Piece Band, 1924-1929Add to your cart.
Folder 7: Band Masters with Circus and Seasons, 1841-1958Add to your cart.
Folder 8: Bean, Annemarie, James V. Hatch, and Brooks McNamara "Inside the Minstrel Mask," 1996Add to your cart.
Folder 9: Billboard Notes, Summers of 1920-1921, 1920-1921Add to your cart.
Folder 10: Billy Rose Theater Collection Visit, 1998Add to your cart.
Folder 11: Black and White Revue of 1924, 1923-1924Add to your cart.
Folder 12: Brown, Alec, 1882-1978Add to your cart.
Folder 13: Brown, Allan, 1858-1947Add to your cart.
Folder 14: Brown Family Documents, 1998-2007Add to your cart.
Folder 15: Brown, Theresa, 1888-1964Add to your cart.
Folder 16: Brown, Theresa Letters, 1918-1921Add to your cart.
Folder 17: Brown, Tom Articles in "Stage Tales on and Off," 1923Add to your cart.
Folder 18: Bunch and Judy, 1922Add to your cart.
Folder 19: Burlesque, Four Cates, Spillers Article and Notes, 1906-1919Add to your cart.
Folder 20: Caldwell Correspondence, 2004Add to your cart.
Folder 21: CD Info "The Almost Complete Six Brown Brothers," UndatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 22: Chapter 10 Notes, UndatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 23: Chicago- Brown Addresses, 1998Add to your cart.
Folder 24: Chin-Chin and Fred Stone Notes, 1915Add to your cart.
Folder 25: Chin-Chin Performance Clippings and Notes, 1914-1918Add to your cart.
Folder 26: Circus Notes and Articles, 1926-1999Add to your cart.
Folder 27: Circus World Museum Research, 1891-1999Add to your cart.
Folder 28: Collection of Correspondences and Clippings about Performances, 1993-2000Add to your cart.
Folder 29: Correspondences about Brown Brothers Music, 2000-2004Add to your cart.
Folder 30: Correspondences about Brown Brothers Music and Recordings, 1994-1997Add to your cart.
Folder 31: Correspondences about Chin-Chin and Clippings, 1993Add to your cart.
Folder 32: Correspondence with Stuart Lloyd, 1992Add to your cart.
Box 13Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Darkest America Program, 1896Add to your cart.
Folder 2: Death Certificates, 1915-1950Add to your cart.
Folder 3: Dillingham Papers, 2003Add to your cart.
Folder 4: Discography (Brown Brothers) 1914-1925Add to your cart.
Folder 5: Don Bestor's Orchestra, 1925-1926Add to your cart.
Folder 6: Dormon "Coon Song," 1988Add to your cart.
Folder 7: Dumont, Frank (Witmark Minstrel Guide,) 1899Add to your cart.
Folder 8: Early Vaudeville Career, 1904-1911Add to your cart.
Folder 9: Eltinge, 2003Add to your cart.
Folder 10: Finsbury Park Photos, 1914Add to your cart.
Folder 11: Fink, Harry Correspondence, 2006Add to your cart.
Folder 12: Four Bards, 1902-1911Add to your cart.
Folder 13: Gelatt, Roland (Fabulous Phonograph,) 1977Add to your cart.
Folder 14: Gilbert, Douglas (American Vaudeville,) 1940Add to your cart.
Folder 15: Gravestone Information, 1949Add to your cart.
Folder 16: Guy Brothers' Minstrels, 1895-1899Add to your cart.
Folder 17: Haverly, Jace (Negro Minstrels,) 1902Add to your cart.
Folder 18: Information about True-Tone and U.S. Census, 1914-1930Add to your cart.
Folder 19: Information on Brown Brothers, Music, and Performances, 1921-2003Add to your cart.
Folder 20: Interviews Used for Research, 1970-1999Add to your cart.
Folder 21: Itineraries, 1927-1929Add to your cart.
Folder 22: Jack o'Lantern, 1917-1920Add to your cart.
Folder 23: LaBelle, Bob Correspondence, 2001Add to your cart.
Folder 24: Lefebre, E.A., 2000Add to your cart.
Folder 25: Lindsay, Ontario Information, 1923-1999Add to your cart.
Folder 26: Lopez, Vincent Article, 1924Add to your cart.
Folder 27: Markwith, Billy, 1884-1967Add to your cart.
Folder 28: Merry Minstrel Orchestra and Aug. Orchestra, 1924-1926Add to your cart.
Folder 29: Miller, Mark Correspondence, 1994-1998Add to your cart.
Folder 30: Minstrel Notes, 1896-1998Add to your cart.
Folder 31: Montgomery and Stone, 1898Add to your cart.
Box 14Add to your cart.
Folder 1: NBC Minstrels, 1937-1938Add to your cart.
Folder 2: Newspaper Clippings and Notes about Tom and  the Brown Brothers, 1924-1930Add to your cart.
Folder 3: New York Clipper, 1890-1895Add to your cart.
Folder 4: New York Clipper, 1890-1897Add to your cart.
Folder 5: Notes, Correspondence, and Other Research on the Six Brown Brothers, 1904-2002Add to your cart.
Folder 6: Notes on Tom Brown Scrapbooks, 1917-1949Add to your cart.
Folder 7: Notes about Tom Jr., 1998Add to your cart.
Folder 8: Paskman and Spaeth (Gentlemen, Be Seated), 1928Add to your cart.
Folder 9: Photographs for That Moaning Saxophone, 2002Add to your cart.
Folder 10: Primrose and Dockstader, 1910-1924Add to your cart.
Folder 11: Quilt Key, 2002Add to your cart.
Folder 12: Quilt (Photos and Book), 2001Add to your cart.
Folder 13: Radio Call Letters, 1927Add to your cart.
Folder 14: Research Correspondences, Photographs, and Other Materials, 1894-1999Add to your cart.
Folder 15: Research Directions (Follow Up), UndatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 16: Rice, Edw. Leroy (Monarchs of Minstrelsy), 1911Add to your cart.
Folder 17: Ringling Bros Circus Information, 1901-1988Add to your cart.
Folder 18: Rolling Stone (Notes on Fred Stone), 1945Add to your cart.
Folder 19: Rossiter "Chicken Walk" Notes, 1915Add to your cart.
Box 15Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Sampson, Henry T (Blacks in Blackface), 1980Add to your cart.
Folder 2: Sax Soprano (Notes and Transcripts), 1949-1970Add to your cart.
Folder 3: Shrine to Music (Notes and Correspondence with Margaret Banks, Ernest Kalwa), 2000Add to your cart.
Folder 4: Six Brown Brothers Volume 2 (Discography), 2008Add to your cart.
Folder 5: State Lake Building and Theatre, 1919Add to your cart.
Folder 6: Stein, Charles W. (American Vaudeville), 1984Add to your cart.
Folder 7: Straytner, Barbara (Ned Wayburn and the Dance Routine), 1996Add to your cart.
Folder 8: Tip Top, 1920-1921Add to your cart.
Folder 9: Toll, Robert (Blacking Up), 1974Add to your cart.
Folder 10: Tom Brown Music Company, 1927-2001Add to your cart.
Folder 11: "Variety" Search, 1913-1931Add to your cart.
Folder 12: Vermazen, Bruce (Articles about the Brown Brothers), 1992-1998Add to your cart.
Folder 13: Victor Records Documents, 1914-1919Add to your cart.
Folder 14: Vitaphone Project, 1929-1998Add to your cart.
Folder 15: Walter L. Main Show Papers, 1903Add to your cart.
Folder 16: Wehman's Minstrel Sketches, 1890Add to your cart.
Sub-Series 2: Book Project FilesAdd to your cart.
Consists of notes, correspondence, and publishing information concerning the writing of That Moaning Saxophone. It is arranged chronologically by date of creation.
Box 16Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Chuck Sendock Correspondence, 2001Add to your cart.
Folder 2: Library of Congress Correspondence and Photoduplication Request, 2001Add to your cart.
Folder 3: Earlier Versions of Chapters from That Moaning Saxophone, 2001Add to your cart.
Folder 4: Correspondence about That Moaning Saxophone, 2001-2002Add to your cart.
Folder 5: Copyright Info, 2002Add to your cart.
Folder 6: Book Permissions, 2002-2003Add to your cart.
Folder 7: Book CD, 2002-2003Add to your cart.
Folder 8: Correspondence with Brian Rust, 2002-2004Add to your cart.
Folder 9: That Moaning Saxophone (Master Copy), 2004Add to your cart.
Folder 10: Paperback Edition Changes, 2007Add to your cart.
Folder 11: That Moaning Saxophone Handwritten Notes, UndatedAdd to your cart.
Sub-Series 3: Personal PapersAdd to your cart.
Consists of articles written by Bruce Vermazen and personal correspondennce not related to the research or publishing of That Moaning Saxophone. It is arranged chronologically by date of creation.
Box 17Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Vermazen Articles, 1968-2020Add to your cart.
Folder 2: Vermazen Articles, 1980-2013Add to your cart.
Folder 3: Vermazen Correspondence and Notebooks, 1989-1993Add to your cart.
Folder 4: Vermazen Correspondence, 1999-2008Add to your cart.
Folder 5: That Moaning Saxophone Release Letter, 2001Add to your cart.

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Tom Brown Music and Papers, ca. 1900-1954],
[Series 2: Bruce Vermazen Personal Papers and Research Files on Tom Brown],
[All]

Page Generated in: 0.284 seconds (using 115 queries).
Using 7.05MB of memory. (Peak of 7.3MB.)

Powered by Archon Version 3.21 rev-3
Copyright ©2017 The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign