b. 1 June 1879, Urbana, Ohio, USA, d. 13 December 1954, Miami, Florida, USA. Hubbell studied music in Chicago, Illinois, where he also led a dance band. He worked as a pianist and arranger with music publisher Charles K. Harris and was active as a songwriter. Early successes included ‘If I Were A Bright Little Star’ and ‘A Kiss For Each Day Of The Week’, with lyrics by Addison Burkhardt, for Chow Chow (1902), later staged in New York as The Runaways. Hubbell’s composing work continued, most often in New York, with shows such as Fantana (1905, which included ‘That’s Art’ and ‘My Word’, lyrics by Robert B. Smith), Mexicana (1906), A Knight For A Day (1907, ‘Life Is A See-Saw’ and ‘Little Girl Blue’, lyrics by Smith). Hubbell also wrote music for the Ziegfeld Follies in 1911-14 inclusive. Among the songs were ‘Take Care Little Girl’ and ‘My Beautiful Lady’ (lyrics by George V. Hobart), and ‘The Broadway Glide’ and ‘Romantic Girl’ (lyrics by Smith). Hubbell composed scores for The Jolly Bachelors and The Bachelor Belles (both 1910), The Man From Cook’s and A Winsome Widow (both 1912).
In 1916, Hubbell capitalized upon the popularity in New York of the Metropolitan Opera’s production of Giacomo Puccini’s Madame Butterfly by composing ‘Poor Butterfly’, with lyricist John L. Golden, which was performed in The Big Show. The song remained in the repertoires of many singers for the next 90 years. Hubbell also composed ‘Beautiful Garden Of Girls’, ‘Just You And Me’ and ‘Chu Chin Chow’, all with lyrics by Hobart and Gene Buck, for The Ziegfeld Follies (1917). He wrote the score for Good Times (1920), which ran for 456 performances at the Hippodrome Theatre, incidental music for Sonny, which was renamed Sonny Boy (1921), scores for Better Times and The Elusive Lady (both 1922), Yours Truly and The Girl From Cook’s (both 1927), and Three Cheers (1928). For Yours Truly, book and lyrics were the joint work of Anne Caldwell and Clyde North. The show, produced by Buck and directed by Paul Dickey and Ralph Reader, ran for 129 performances, with a further 16 at the Century Theatre the following year. Included in the 1927 cast were Irene Dunne and Leon Errol. At the age of 50, Hubbell opted for retirement.