Born in Middletown, Connecticut, Wrubel attended Wesleyan University and Columbia University before working in dance bands. "After earning his bachelor’s degree in 1926, Allie enrolled in graduate music studies at Columbia University. He roomed with his close friend, film actor James Cagney [a former Columbia undergrad], and began playing with bands in Greenwich Village and making the rounds on Tin Pan Alley." He played saxophone and clarinet for a variety of famous swing bands. In 1934 he moved to Hollywood to work for Warner Bros. as a contract songwriter. He contributed material to a large number of movies, including those of the famous Busby Berkeley before moving to Disney in 1947.
Wrubel collaborated with lyricist Ray Gilbert
on the song "Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah" from the film Song of the South
which won the Oscar for Best Song in 1947.
Wrubel also contributed to the films Make Mine Music
, Duel in the Sun
, I Walk Alone
, Melody Time
, Never Steal Anything Small
and Midnight Lace
. The lyricists with whom he collaborated included Abner Silver, Herb Magidson
, Charles Newman, Mort Dixon and Ned Washington. When he died, at Twentynine Palms, California, he left a lengthy catalogue of songs.
Allie Wrubel was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1970. His best-known songs include:
- "The Lady from 29 Palms"
- "Gone with the Wind"
- "I'll Buy That Dream"
- "Mine Alone"
- "The Masquerade Is Over"
- "Music Maestro Please"
- "The Lady in Red"
- "Cleanin' My Rifle (Dreamin' Of You"
- "Breakin' My Back Putting Up A Front For You"