The Saxo Sextet

Sax SextetSax Clown posseThe Saxo Sextet

I’m trying out a new scanner (ebay, 10$) and I came across some really old photos I have collected over the years. These seem to be from maybe circa 1910 to 1925? One is autographed “Billy (unreadable) Marbeetle? The Saxo Sextet” Not only did they have the the front guy go blackface but the rest of the all sax band put on clown white with all of them wearing outlandish costumes Think of them as the “Kiss” of their time. The basic show biz model remains the same, “ya gotta have a gimmick!”


5 Responses to “The Saxo Sextet”

  1. Note the studio logo on left side of group shot that reads,
    “Foster Studio Richmond Va.”! Maybe the Saxo Sextet were our home boys!

  2. The Six Brown Brothers were a Canadian vaudeville era saxophone sextet consisting of six brothers. The brothers were, William,(Billy) Tom (1881–1950), Alec, Percy, Fred and Vern Brown. The Brown Brothers lived in Lindsay, Ontario until 1893. The first instrumentation consisted of a saxophone quintet (bass, baritone, tenor, and 2 alto saxes. A soprano sax was never used with the group, except as a feature for Tom Brown). But in 1913, they added a second baritone sax. Success in 1912-14 lead to touring to Scotland and elsewhere in Europe. Additional non-family members also played with the group.
    After they broke up in 1933 only the leader, Tom Brown, continued as a musician but with limited success.
    Could these be the guys in the pics?

  3. Erik Gilliam Says:

    Comparing with a few pictures I have, I think the group is the Saxo Sextet. At the time the members of the group were: Walter Markwith, Carrol Clement, Jack Quinn, Stetson Kieferle, Sterling Cross and Bill Markwith (in blackface). Bill and another brother, Charles, played in the Ringling Circus band, along with Tom Brown during the 1910 season. The success of the Brown Brothers generated similar groups such as the Saxo Sextet. Bruce Vermazen’s book, The Moaning Saxophone, provides a detailed story of the early days of the saxophone in popular music.

  4. Vicky Krogg Says:

    Billy Markwith is my ancestor. Would love to have the photos of him and yes his New Jersey based band the Saxo Sextet!

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