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Charles E. Duble

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Charles E. Duble


Charles (Charlie) Edward Duble (13 September 1884, Jeffersonville, Ind. – August 1960, Jefferson, Ind.) was an American composer and trombonist.

Duble became a trombone player, and in this respect he joined a long list of composers of circus music who played the lower brass instruments: trombone, euphonium, baritone, or tuba. At an early age, he exhibited a strong talent for music and a great love of circuses. His first march, Floral City, was composed in 1905 and he published 11 more before he began his professional career as a trombonist in 1909, when he joined the Sun Brothers Circus.

The impressive number of circus or minstrel bands with which he performed attests to his proficiency on the trombone. Details of his youth have not been fully documented, but it is known that he played with the Sun Brothers Circus in the 1909 season. Other organizations with which he performed are the Norris and Rowe Circus, the Gentry Brothers Famous Dog and Pony Show, the Great Dode Fisk Shows, John Robinson's 10 Big Shows, the H.W. Campbell's United Shows (carnival), the Barnum & Bailey Circus, Robinson's Famous Shows, the Hagenbeck-Wallace Shows, the John H. Sparks Shows, the John Robinson Circus, the Sells Floto Circus, the Sparks Circus, the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Combined Shows, the Robbins Brothers Circus, the Downie Brothers Circus, the Miller Brothers 101 Ranch Wild West, the Russell Brothers Circus, the DeRue Brothers All-Star Minstrels, and William F. Kibble's Uncle Tom's Cabin Company.

Duble was a man of unique character. He had a clever sense of humor but was quiet and reserved. His best known march is Bravura, the authorship of which has often been incorrectly attributed to other composers. His two marches, Wizard of the West and Battle of the Winds, are among the most difficult of all marches to play at the fast circus tempo.

Duble apparently returned to his home in the town of Jeffersonville after a career of 23 years on the road. He wrote many articles for Bandwagon, the Journal of the Circus Historical Society. His dedication to preserving the history of circus music continued to his death in 1960. Windjammers Unlimited, a circus music historical society, honored Charles Duble as the 10th inductee into their Hall of Fame.

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