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Harry Hughes

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Harry Hughes (17 November 1891, Kentucky – 5 June 1939, Pittsburgh, Penn.) was an American trombonist and composer.

Although it is not known how or where Hughes obtained his music education, he became an excellent performer on trombone and also played the xylophone, marimba, and calliope.

At the age of 22, Harry left home to become a trouper-musician with the Buffalo Bill Wild West Show. The next year, 1914, he played trombone with the Sparks Circus, and he moved to the Hagenbeck-Wallace Circus in 1915. During these years, he did much arranging and composing for the circus bands in which he played.

Tiring of travel, Hughes married shortly after World War I and settled in Atlanta, Georgia. He soon established himself in that city's music circles. He joined Local 148-462 of the American Federation of Musicians and began to play trombone in Atlanta theaters. In the early 1920s, he performed in pit orchestras for silent movies.

During the depression, Hughes joined the Works Progress Administration Orchestra in Atlanta but could not resist the urge to return to the circus. In 1934, he joined the Downie Brothers Circus band. Two years later, Merle Evans recruited him to play first trombone with the Ringling Brothers shows near Pittsburgh, where he remained for the rest of his life.

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