Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

This is a little off-topic, but can anyone cite examples of saxophones in minstrel shows?

A researcher from Yale University is doing a report on the subject and would love to see images or talk with you about possible resources. He is specifically seeking images, photos, cartoons, programs, articles or personnel lists that depict the saxaphone and minstrelsy.

I recently posted this question on the Black Banjo YahooGroups forum and got a few leads, but still no concrete examples.

Let me know if you can cite resources or would like to see results of the study.




Scott Miller

Saint Louis, Missouri

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I've been through my references on the Georgia Minstrels, and have not found anything specifically mentioning the saxophone.  The Georgia Minstrels were an African-American minstrel troupe starting in the 1860s through the end of the century.  They had a reputation of being of extremely high calibre.  Sam Lucas was probably their most noted performer.  I have found references to banjo, fiddle, trumpet/cornet, Tuba etc.


There were different groups naming themselves the Georgia Minstrels.  Barney Hick's Original Georgia Minstrels was an African-American group starting in the late 1860s (he claimed 1865).  I believe that the poster is for their group.  In the early 1870s they had a string orchestra under the direction of George Skillings, and a brass band under the direction of John Wilson.  It's possible there was a sax player, but I have not found a specific reference to this point.

The poster of The Original Georgia Minstrels shows a saxophone player. I would like a good clear hi res image. Could I get that from you, Mr. Bell? I would be happy to pay you. Is there a way to get an approx source date of this poster?


My e-mail is :


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