Schutt was born in Reading, Pennsylvania, United States, and learned piano from his father. He accompanied silent films as a teenager in the 1910 and was playing in a movie palace in 1918 when Paul Specht hired him to play in a band; he worked for Specht until 1924, including during a tour of Europe in 1923. He held positions with Roger Wolfe Kahn and Don Voorhees, and became a prolific studio pianist, recording with Fred Rich, Nat Shilkret, Frankie Trumbauer, Bix Beiderbecke, and the Charleston Chasers. From 1926-29 and again in 1931 he played with Red Nichols; he also recorded with Jimmy and Tommy Dorsey's orchestra (1928–31), and Benny Goodman. He recorded under his own name in 1929-30 as a bandleader.
Schutt composed a jazz tune "Delirium" in 1927, which was widely recorded. In 1934, Schutt co-wrote "Georgia Jubilee" with Benny Goodman which, while a hit, was also recorded by Isham Jones's band. Schutt also composed the ragtime "piano novelty" piece "Bluin' the Black Keys", considered one of the most difficult traditional, period rags ever written.
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