Although the name of Elmer Schoebel
is little-known in jazz history, he composed several songs that became standards including "Bugle Call Rag," "Farewell Blues," "Nobody's Sweetheart," "Copenhagen," and "Prince of Wails." Schoebel
started his professional career playing piano for silent movies in Champaign, Illinois. He accompanied a variety of acts in vaudeville and shows, and in 1920 played in Chicago with the 20th Century Jazz Band. His greatest fame as a player was due to his work (and recordings) with the New Orleans Rhythm Kings
during 1922-1923. Schoebel
then led his own band, visited New York with Isham Jones' Orchestra in 1925, returned to Chicago and had several short-term associations including with Louis Panico and Art Kassel
. He also wrote arrangements for the Melrose Publishing House. Schoebel
mostly worked as a writer in the 1930s, becoming the chief musical arranger for Warner Bros New York publishing company. He returned to playing on an occasional basis in the late '40s, including with Conrad Janis' Band, Blue Steele's Rhythm Rebels (1958), and as leader of his own groups in St. Petersburg, Florida. Schoebel
was active as a player up until his death, but was largely forgotten, although his songs have continued to be played often. His one date as a leader resulted in two numbers ("Copenhagen" and "Prince of Wails") recorded in 1929.