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Arthur W Hughes

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Arthur Wellesley Hughes (ca. 1870, Kingston, Ont. – ca. 1950, New York City) was a Canadian-born American composer.

Separated from his family at an early age, he came to the United States and became an itinerant circus musician – his principal instruments were piano, calliope, and alto horn. He performed with various circuses, including Mighty Haag in 1912, Hagenbeck-Wallace in 1922, Sells-Floto in 1923, and Ringling Brothers from 1924 to 1926. Merle Evans remembers that he was forced to discuss Hughes from the Ringling Brand because his drinking problem even though he recognized his outstanding ability as an arranger and composer. Hughes later toured with Robbins Brothers in 1928-1929 and Miller Brother 101 Ranch Wild West Show and Walter L. Main in 1930-1931. From 1932 to 1935 Hughes was employed by the Waterloo Music Company in Ontario, Canada. At other times he edited and arranged music for Whaley Royce in Toronto and Cundy-Bettoney in Boston.

Hughes learned most of his arranging and composing techniques while touring with circus bands. He frequently used the pseudonyms Arthur Wellesley and H.W. Arthurs and in numerous instances wrote music which was credited to other composers. He was a prolific composer, producing some fifty published works and numerous arrangements between 1890 and 1930.

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