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That Moaning Saxophone: The Six Brown Brothers and the Dawning of a Musical Craze by [Bruce Vermazen]

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That Moaning Saxophone: The Six Brown Brothers and the Dawning of a Musical Craze 1st Edition, Kindle Edition

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

During the first two decades of the 20th century, the Six Brown Brothers were arguably the musical act most responsible for introducing the saxophone into American music. They took an instrument that until then had languished in relative obscurity or been demonized by critics-it was once termed the "Siren of Satan"-and helped transform how it was played and perceived. Led by Tom Brown, the Six Brown Brothers formed their band of traveling musicians against the backdrop of minstrel shows, circuses, small town brass bands and vaudeville acts. Widely celebrated, they were legends early in their career-but as the years passed and tastes changed, they faded away along with the vaudeville acts they helped to canonize. Vermazen, a professor emeritus of philosophy at UC Berkley, has written a thoughtful exploration of an instrument and a family, and in doing so, has managed to capture not only the birth of a musical craze, but a pivotal and turbulent moment in America’s history. Meticulously researched, this volume covers the years between 1896 and 1927 with a seemingly inexhaustible list of quotes and facts (which at times threatens to overwhelm the compelling narrative the author has created out of the lives of Tom Brown and his brothers). Vermazen follows the brothers, and Tom in particular, year to year and show to show, with varying degrees of success at picking out the telling details that bring both the age, and the brothers, to life. (As he notes early on, the story of the Six Brown Brothers "must be told from the outside," since the brothers left behind few letters and no diaries, and newspaper articles are "tantalizingly silent" on various important facts and details.) Vermazen’s revival of the Six Brown Brothers after decades of obscurity will serve as a vital addition to the history of American popular music.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

Review


"This excellent social history gives general readers and more focused music fans an insightful, well-written, and concise backdrop to the birth of the big band era and the modern popular music industry."--Library Journal
"Vermazen...has written a thoughtful exploration of an instrument and a family, and in doing so, has managed to capture not only the birth of a musical craze, but a pivotal and turbulent moment in America's history...Vermazen's revival of the Six Brown Brothers after decades of obscurity will serve
as a vital addition to the history of American popular music."--Publisher's Weekly
"That Moaning Saxophone is an extraordinary romp through America's entertainment culture from the late 19th through early 20th century. Richly detailed and illustrated, it is exciting to read whether a saxophonist, music enthusiast or cultural historian. Vermazen breathes new life and meaning to the
Brown Brothers music, as well as to the times that spawned their success. Following their career from origin to disbandment was compelling, exciting reading. That Moaning Saxophone immediately becomes a recommended text to my colleagues, and a required one for my students."--Dr. Paul Cohen,
Manhattan School of Music, Oberlin Conservatory, Rutgers University
"Without doubt this is one of the most important books on any aspect of twentieth century popular music ever published. Not only is it full of fascinating information, but it is eminently readable, and stands as a superb example of dedication to the subject on the part of the author."-- Brian Rust,
author of several discographical reference books
"A great book. Itis more than a biography and history of the Brown Brothers; it's also a vivid history of the minstrel, circus, and vaudeville worlds they inhabited." --Edward A. Berlin, author of King of Ragtime: Scott Joplin and His Era (Oxford) and Ragtime: A Musical and Cultural History.
"I enjoyed [the book] very much, thought the author did a fine job, all around. The last part was of particular poignancy, tracing the slow but relentless decline of the Brown Brothers as their kind of show business was mercilessly, bit by bit, destroyed by the onslaught of modern mass media. The
evidence shows clearly that the people still thoroughly enjoyed the Brothers' act even into the 1930s, whenever they were still able to find venues, but the people had little say in the changing nature of show business--and they still don't! Obviously, the common acquired habit of excessive drinking
didn't help any of the Brothers to make productive adjustments to the changing tides...washed-up show business people, old-time vaudevillians living in run-down hotels, dreaming of a comeback, if only they could get one big break...a classic image of the '30s, 40's 50's...A fine book."--R. Crumb



"This excellent social history gives general readers and more focused music fans an insightful, well-written, and concise backdrop to the birth of the big band era and the modern popular music industry."--Library Journal
"Vermazen...has written a thoughtful exploration of an instrument and a family, and in doing so, has managed to capture not only the birth of a musical craze, but a pivotal and turbulent moment in America's history...Vermazen's revival of the Six Brown Brothers after decades of obscurity will serve
as a vital addition to the history of American popular music."--Publisher's Weekly
"That Moaning Saxophone is an extraordinary romp through America's entertainment culture from the late 19th through early 20th century. Richly detailed and illustrated, it is exciting to read whether a saxophonist, music enthusiast or cultural historian. Vermazen breathes new life and meaning to the
Brown Brothers music, as well as to the times that spawned their success. Following their career from origin to disbandment was compelling, exciting reading. That Moaning Saxophone immediately becomes a recommended text to my colleagues, and a required one for my students."--Dr. Paul Cohen,
Manhattan School of Music, Oberlin Conservatory, Rutgers University
"Without doubt this is one of the most important books on any aspect of twentieth century popular music ever published. Not only is it full of fascinating information, but it is eminently readable, and stands as a superb example of dedication to the subject on the part of the author."-- Brian Rust,
author of several discographical reference books
"A great book. Itis more than a biography and history of the Brown Brothers; it's also a vivid history of the minstrel, circus, and vaudeville worlds they inhabited." --Edward A. Berlin, author of King of Ragtime: Scott Joplin and His Era (Oxford) and Ragtime: A Musical and Cultural History.
"I enjoyed [the book] very much, thought the author did a fine job, all around. The last part was of particular poignancy, tracing the slow but relentless decline of the Brown Brothers as their kind of show business was mercilessly, bit by bit, destroyed by the onslaught of modern mass media. The
evidence shows clearly that the people still thoroughly enjoyed the Brothers' act even into the 1930s, whenever they were still able to find venues, but the people had little say in the changing nature of show business--and they still don't! Obviously, the common acquired habit of excessive drinking
didn't help any of the Brothers to make productive adjustments to the changing tides...washed-up show business people, old-time vaudevillians living in run-down hotels, dreaming of a comeback, if only they could get one big break...a classic image of the '30s, 40's 50's...A fine book."--R. Crumb


"This excellent social history gives general readers and more focused music fans an insightful, well-written, and concise backdrop to the birth of the big band era and the modern popular music industry."--Library Journal
"Vermazen...has written a thoughtful exploration of an instrument and a family, and in doing so, has managed to capture not only the birth of a musical craze, but a pivotal and turbulent moment in America's history...Vermazen's revival of the Six Brown Brothers after decades of obscurity will serve
as a vital addition to the history of American popular music."--Publisher's Weekly
"That Moaning Saxophone is an extraordinary romp through America's entertainment culture from the late 19th through early 20th century. Richly detailed and illustrated, it is exciting to read whether a saxophonist, music enthusiast or cultural historian. Vermazen breathes new life and meaning to the
Brown Brothers music, as well as to the times that spawned their success. Following their career from origin to disbandment was compelling, exciting reading. That Moaning Saxophone immediately becomes a recommended text to my colleagues, and a required one for my students."--Dr. Paul Cohen,
Manhattan School of Music, Oberlin Conservatory, Rutgers University
"Without doubt this is one of the most important books on any aspect of twentieth century popular music ever published. Not only is it full of fascinating information, but it is eminently readable, and stands as a superb example of dedication to the subject on the part of the author."-- Brian Rust,
author of several discographical reference books
"A great book. It is more than a biography and history of the BrownBrothers; it's also a vivid history of the minstrel, circus, and vaudeville worlds they inhabited." --Edward A. Berlin, author of King of Ragtime: Scott Joplin and His Era (Oxford) and Ragtime: A Musical and Cultural History.
"I enjoyed [the book] very much, thought the author did a fine job, all around. The last part was of particular poignancy, tracing the slow but relentless decline of the Brown Brothers as their kind of show business was mercilessly, bit by bit, destroyed by the onslaught of modern mass media. The
evidence shows clearly that the people still thoroughly enjoyed the Brothers' act even into the 1930s, whenever they were still able to find venues, but the people had little say in the changing nature of show business--and they still don't! Obviously, the common acquired habit of excessive drinking
didn't help any of the Brothers to make productive adjustments to the changing tides...washed-up show business people, old-time vaudevillians living in run-down hotels, dreaming of a comeback, if only they could get one big break...a classic image of the '30s, 40's 50's...A fine book."--R. Crumb
--This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

Product details

  • File size : 4764 KB
  • Publication date : April 1, 2004
  • Word Wise : Enabled
  • Print length : 320 pages
  • Publisher : Oxford University Press; 1st edition (April 1, 2004)
  • X-Ray : Not Enabled
  • Text-to-Speech : Enabled
  • Language: : English
  • ASIN : B000VIJ0X4
  • Enhanced typesetting : Not Enabled
  • Lending : Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    5.0 out of 5 stars 4 ratings

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