From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Brown, Robert L. "Tobe"

(born: 1863  -  died: 1939) 

Robert L. Brown, was born in Shelbyville, KY. He was a cornet and piano player as well as a music teacher who specialized in dance music. He directed the Cunningham Band in Louisville, KY. Brown left Kentucky around 1890 and opened the Dance Academy in Kansas City, Missouri. He also provided orchestral music at social events and taught string and brass. His music was thought of as a guarantee for a good time at any event. Brown returned to Louisville in 1899. In 1907, his Louisville orchestra played at the Owensboro Chautauqua, thought to be one of the first Negro Chautauqua in the United States. For more see Out of Sight: the Rise of African American Popular Music, 1889-1895, by L. Abbott and D. Seroff.


Cited in this Entry

NKAA Entry: Cunningham, James C.
NKAA Source: Out of sight: the rise of African American popular music, 1889-1895

Related Entries Citing this Entry

NKAA Entry:  Owensboro (KY) Negro Chautauqua

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Brown, Robert L. "Tobe",” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed June 17, 2021,

Last modified: 2017-07-19 17:51:26