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 Robert “Bob” Sheble

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Robert “Bob” Sheble

  • Birth 16 Nov 1922
  • Death 6 Apr 1952
  • Burial Bala Cynwyd, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, USA
  • Plot Edgewood section 32
  • Memorial ID 27184977

Bob Sheble was a local Philadelphia drummer that died with his wife in an auto accident. His band had four trumpets, including Tommy Kaplan and my father Joe Techner who would split the solo work. Jimmy Padget had lead trumpet. Gerry Mulligan did the arrangements and pianist Gene Kutch wrote the majority of the book. Mike Sable did sax solos. Phil (Italian last name) was baritone sax. Joe Borock had lead alto. Les Arnold, Lou Pasola (alto) and Phil DeLuca were also in the sax section. His wife was the singer in the band. I interviewed DeLuca, Borock and Arnold shortly before their deaths several years ago.

Listen to his 1946 recordings at the Hotel DuPont (Wilmington, Delaware).

Time Chronicle (Jenkintown), April 10, 1952, page 1: Services Held For Couple Who Died in Crash - Robert Sheble And Wife Of Accident in South - Robert Sheble, 29, son of Mr. and Mrs. J. Howard Sheble, and his wife, Martha, were killed Sunday night in an automobile accident near Faison, North Carolina. Mr. Sheble, a popular band leader, and his 23-year-old bride were enroute in a station wagon for a Florida vacation. With them was Raymond Sharp, 22, society columnist for the Evening Bulletin. Mr. Sheble succumbed to head injuries and Mrs. Sheble died of internal injuries. Sharp was treated at a hospital for lacerations and abrasions. North Carolina State Police said the station wagon collided with a school bus containing forty Negro adults and one child. The bus was not a student vehicle but was used for school personnel. Ten passengers were treated at the hospital. The threesome left the Sheble residence at West Valley Green road, near Bethleham pike, Whitemarsh, Sunday morning. The accident occurred at about ten o'clock Sunday night. Whitemarsh Township police received word of the fatal accident and informed the elder Sheble, whose home is next to Robert's house, at 2:30 a.m. Monday. Mr. Sheble took a plane to the scene shortly afterwards. A native of Rydal, the youthful veteran of World War II is survived by his parents and two brothers, Richard of Plainfield, N.J.; and J. Howard, 3rd, of Alexandria, Va. The couple had been married only three years and recently moved into their new home, built adjacent to his father's. Young Sheble had been a member of the U.S. Army Band and recently was with the Howard Lanin Orchestra, Philadelphia. Mrs. Sheble, the former Martha Claflin, is survived by her mother, Mrs. William Claflin, Philadelphia. Funeral services were held yesterday afternoon at Bringhurst's Funeral Home, 2000 Walnut street, Philadelphia. Interment was private.

Philadelphia Inquirer, April 8, 1952, page 25: ROBERT SHEBLE, WIFE DIE IN CRASH Robert Sheble, 29 a Philadelphia orchestra leader and his wife, Martha Claflin Sheble, 23, of W. Valley rd.., Whitemarsh, were killed in a head-on collision of their station wagon and a bus near Faison, N.C. it was learned here yesterday. A companion, Jay R. Sharp, Jr., 22, of 30 Chestnut St., Cynwyd, was cut and bruised in the crash, which occurred on U.S. 117 as the three were en route to Palm Beach, Fla. Sheble, a veteran of the Second World War, was known professionally as Bob Shebley. Formerly a drummer with Benny Goodman and other leaders, he organized his own orchestra about a year ago and also was manager of the Howard Lanin organization in charge of society functions. His orchestra had played in Philadelphia Friday night at the Junior Bal Mosque at the Warwick and on Saturday night at the Agnes Irwin School dance in Wynewood. He was the son of J. Howard Sheble, a Jenkintown real estate broker.

I have put his music on YouTube. Just search "Bob Sheble." In 1941, the Phi Beta Alpha fraternity of the Extension School of the University of Pennsylvania selected the Bob Sheble band for their New Year's Eve ball at the Abraham Lincoln ballroom. A December 15, 1941 Reading Eagle Times article noted, "The orchestra chosen for the dance is the Philadelphia band of Bob Sheble, creator of the "Sheble Style Rhythm," with Tedi Holiday, vocalist."

U.S. World War II Army Enlistment Records list Robert Sheble with an enlistment at Philadelphia on 3 Feb 1943. He entered as a private with a warrant officer branch. He was reported as having completed 4 years of high school and with a musician civilian occupation. He was single with no dependents at the time. Height: 69 inches, weight: 156 lbs.

On August 3 - 4, 2010, I visited the North Carolina accident scene. Based on newspaper reports that the scene was "on the outskirts" of Faison, I believe I found the spot just south of a small bridge in the road below Faison. Sheble approached a small ridge in the road that concealed the lamps of the northbound school bus. At night, this ridge cannot be seen and the road appears straight to southbound motorists. Northbound motorists cannot see any activity just over the ridge. The school bus appeared over the ridge just as Sheble was in the same lane attempting to pass an automobile. This resulted in a head-on crash. I have included photos of the scene on this memorial. Today, the road is still a two-lane road with one lane for each direction of travel. Crop fields, small houses and cows line the road. Railroad tracks run parallel along the west side of the road.


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  • Created by: Researcher
  • Added: 
  • Find A Grave Memorial 27184977
  • Researcher
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Robert “Bob” Sheble (16 Nov 1922–6 Apr 1952), Find A Grave Memorial no. 27184977, citing West Laurel Hill Cemetery, Bala Cynwyd, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, USA ; Maintained by Researcher (contributor 46902961) .