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- Posted on Dec 6th 2009 11:00AM by Liz Colville
Among Schroeder's most well-known songwriting credits is Elvis Presley's 1960 hit, 'It's Now or Never,' a song whose melody was derived from a Neapolitan standard 'O Sole Mio.' Presley expressed interest in the song after hearing a version of it by Tony Martin called 'There's No Tomorrow' while he was stationed in the Army in Germany, according to the New York Times obituary of Schroeder.
Schroeder was called in to write a new version of the song with another hit-making songwriter, Wally Gold. The pair penned the lyrics in half an hour. In 1960, it became Presley's biggest hit of all time, selling 20 million copies and reaching number one in several countries.
Schroeder co-wrote four other number-one hits for Elvis: 'I Got Stung,' 'Stuck On You,' 'Good Luck Charm,' and 'A Big Hunk O' Love.'
Schroeder was born in Brooklyn on Sept. 7, 1926. He became a member of ASCAP in 1948, establishing himself as a songwriter with 'At A Sidewalk Penny Arcade,' one of the songs that helped launch the career of singer Rosemary Clooney (actor George Clooney's aunt).
He also wrote songs for Perry Como, Roy Orbison, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis, Jr. and Nat King Cole, managed Gene Pitney, and founded a pioneering independent record label, Musicor Records, which he ran from 1960 to 1965. He also wrote the theme song, 'Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!'
As a producer, Schroeder was credited with helping start the careers of Jimi Hendrix and Barry White.
Schroeder is survived by his wife, Abby, and his daughter, Rachel.