Professor Hubley Recommends a Horn — Memories of Horn Calls Past: My First Issue of The Horn Call, Part VII


In the “Afterbeats” section of the October, 1979 issue of The Horn Call we find the article “Dear Professor Hubley.” It is an advice column similar to the more famous Dear Abby column except that it is of course all things horn! While related to horn personalities of the time the questions and answers are pretty timeless and a final good example of the content that lurks in back issues of The Horn Call. The second question addressed to Prof. Hubley is

Dear Professor Hubley,
I want to get a new horn, but have been very confused as to what to get – there are so many brands and models on the market. What do you suggest?
– Wondering

Dear Wondering,
I’m glad you asked that question. As far as I am concerned there is only one possible choice for you (or anyone): the new Hubley Horn, made by the Frack Mfg. Co. of Kicks, Minnesota, specialists in the manufacture of brass instruments and precision plumbing accessories. This horn has everything: mouthpiece … bell … valves …. I designed this horn to be all things to all players. You can order your choice of bore sizes, from weensy to unbelievably gross; metals: from aluminum for those light French numbers, to cast iron (must be greased inside and out regularly) for those big romantic muthas.

Skipping ahead a bit (the instrument was convertible to everything from a single F to various types of double horns!), we get to the mouthpiece.

Each horn comes equipped with three mouthpieces: the Hubley Screech Owl High Chop for high hornists, the Hubley Windflap Big Bore for low players (a No. 2 pencil will pass through it easily), and the Hubley Middler (measurements are the averages of those of all known mouthpieces) for those who don’t mind being laughed at by the highs or lows for being a sissy for not using what they do. Optional accessories: the Hubley Bulldog Stopping Mute, guaranteed to stop a runaway horn at 100 yards; Hubley Valve Oil (120 proof, guaranteed to make your valves unsticky and you pretty loose as well). Finally: the Hubley Rhino Hide Horn Case.

I think there might actually be a market for that “Middler” mouthpiece. Skipping ahead again a bit, Hubley has a deal for the reader and in the end a confession.

If you order directly from me, I will give you 20% off list price. (You see, the factory gives me 40% off, I give you and all my students 20% off, and everybody is happy. You didn’t think I got my pool table, sailboat, and new wing on my house selling Christmas cards, now, did you?)

Dear Professor Hubley,
What kind of horn and mouthpiece do you play yourself?
— Still Wondering

Dear Still Wondering,
A pre-war single Bb Crumbley with a mouthpiece my teacher gave me (I also have a Hubley model around here somewhere which I use for circus gigs, Wagner, and supermarket openings). If it’s any of your business.

University of Horn Matters