Baxter led from the twenties to mid thirties a private Orchestra, with which he in October 1925 (in St. Louis) and October 1929 (in Dallas) recordings made. From June 1927 to 1933 he led the house band in the El Torreon Ballroom in Kansas City, the Orchestra was called Phil Baxter and His El Torreon Orchestra. The performances of the band were regularly broadcast on KMBCradio.
Baxter has composed several songs that were successful. The novelty-song "Piccolo Pete" was a hit for Ted Weems and his Orchestra. The song "I'm a Ding Dong Daddy from Dumas" was successfully recorded by many artists, such as Sidney Bechet, Bennie Slices and Louis Armstrong.
By arthritis , Baxter had to at one point to suspend most musical activities.