Schoebel, Elmer, jazz arranger, composer, pianist; b. East St. Louis, III, Sept. 8, 1896; d. St. Petersburg, Fla., Dec. 14, 1970. At age 14, he began playing piano accompaniment in a silent-movie house in Champaign, Ill., then toured for a long time accompanying various variety acts. In 1920, he played in Chicago with the 20th Century Jazz Band. From 1922 until 1923, Schoebel played regularly in the Friars’ Society Orch. (the New Orleans Rhythm Kings), then formed his own band for residency at Midway Gardens, Chicago. He travelled to N.Y. with Isham Jones in 1925, but then returned to Chicago, where he led his own band and, through the late 1920s, played for various leaders, including Louis Panico and Art Kassel. During this period, he also did regular arranging and transcribing for the Melrose Publishing House. Schoebel achieved great success as a composer (“Nobody’s Sweetheart,” “Farewell Blues,” and many others). He worked mainly at arranging and composing through the 1930s until becoming chief musical arranger for Warner Brothers’ N.Y. publishing company. He played regularly in N.Y. from the late 1940s through the 1950s. In 1958, he moved to Fla., where he worked with local bands until his death.
—John Chilton , Who’s Who of Jazz/Lewis Porter