Abe Lyman

Abe Lyman (August 4, 1897 – October 23, 1957) was a popular bandleader from the 1920s to the 1940s. He made recordings, appeared in films and provided the music for numerous radio shows, including Your Hit Parade.

His name at birth was Abraham Simon. He and his brother, Mike, changed their last name to Lyman because they both thought it sounded better. Abe learned to play the drums when he was young, and at the age of 14 he had a job as a drummer in a Chicago café. Around 1919, he was regularly playing music with two other notable future big band leaders, Henry Halstead and Gus Arnheim, in California.

In Los Angeles Mike Lyman opened the Sunset, a night club popular with such film stars as Mary Pickford, Norma Talmadge, Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, and Harold Lloyd. When Abe's nine-piece band first played at the Sunset, it was a success, but the club closed after celebrities signed contracts stating they were not to be seen at clubs.

For an engagement at the Cocoanut Grove in The Ambassador Hotel on April 1, 1922, Abe added a violinist and saxophonist. Opening night drew a large crowd of 1500 guests in the Cocoanut Grove, plus another 500 more outside.

Lyman appeared on radio as early as 1922. His orchestra was broadcast from The Ambassador Hotel by late March on KOG.

After the band cut their first record under the local label Nordskog Records, they moved a year later to Brunswick Records in summer of 1923. There they made many recordings and were one of Brunswick's leading orchestras through 1935, when Lyman signed to Decca Records. In late 1937, Lyman signed with Victor where he was assigned their Bluebird label. He recorded prolifically for them through 1942. The Lyman Orchestra toured Europe in 1929, appearing at the Kit Cat Club and the Palladium in London and at the Moulin Rouge and the Perroquet in Paris. Lyman and his orchestra were featured in a number of early talkies, including Hold Everything (1930), Paramount on Parade (1930), Good News (1930) and Madam Satan (1930). In 1931, Abe Lyman and his orchestra recorded a number of soundtracks for the Merrie Melodies cartoon series. Notable musicians in the Lyman Orchestra included Ray Lopez, Gussie Mueller, and Orlando "Slim" Martin.

During the 1930s, the Lyman Orchestra was heard regularly on such shows as Accordiana and Waltz Time every Friday evening and on NBC, Coast to Coast. Under the name "Rose Blane" Lyman's wife was vocalist with the band during this period. Lyman and his orchestra sat in for Phil Harris on the Jack Benny program in 1943 when Harris served in the Merchant Marines.

When Lyman was 50 years old, he left the music industry and went into the restaurant management business. He died in Beverly Hills, California at the age of 60.

Birth and Death Data: Born August 4, 1897 (Chicago), Died October 23, 1957 (Beverly Hills)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1922 - 1942

Roles Represented in DAHR: leader, director, composer, songwriter, speaker, lyricist

= Recordings are available for online listening.
= Recordings were issued from this master. No recordings issued from other masters.

Recordings (Results 1-25 of 414 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor B-27230 10-in. 12/14/1922 Peggy dear Great White Way Orchestra Jazz/dance band songwriter  
Victor B-27622 10-in. 2/26/1923 Apple sauce Virginians Jazz/dance band songwriter  
Victor B-28051 10-in. 6/5/1923 I cried for you (Now it's your turn to cry over me) The Collegians Jazz/dance band composer  
Victor B-28115 10-in. 6/13/1923 Love is just a flower Benson Orchestra of Chicago ; Don Bestor Jazz/dance band composer  
Victor B-28534 10-in. 9/5/1923 I cried for you (Now it's your turn to cry over me) Belle Baker Female vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor B-29129 10-in. 12/14/1923 Before you go The Manhattan Merrymakers Jazz/dance band composer  
Victor C-29958 12-in. 5/2/1924 Mandalay Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band composer  
Victor B-30528 10-in. 7/23/1924 Mandalay Peerless Quartet Male vocal quartet, with orchestra composer  
Victor BVE-33208 10-in. 8/4/1925 Summer nights Don Bestor Orchestra Jazz/dance band composer  
Victor BVE-33884 10-in. 11/19/1925 You told me to go Roger Wolfe Kahn Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo composer  
Victor BVE-34368 10-in. 1/27/1926 After I say I'm sorry (What can I say?) Jean Goldkette Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo composer  
Victor BVE-34571 10-in. 2/26/1926 After I say I'm sorry (What can I say?) Jesse Crawford Pipe organ solo composer  
Victor BVE-34736 10-in. 3/19/1926 (What can I say) After I say I'm sorry Tom Waring Male vocal solo, with cornet and piano songwriter  
Victor BVE-35789 10-in. 7/20/1926 Tenderly Johnny Hamp ; Kentucky Serenaders Jazz/dance band, with male vocal trio composer  
Victor BVE-36312 10-in. 9/14/1926 Mary Lou B.F. Goodrich Silvertown Cord Orchestra ; Joseph M. Knecht Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo composer  
Victor BVE-36993 10-in. 12/2/1926 Mary Lou The Revelers Male vocal quartet, with piano composer  
Victor BVE-37505 10-in. 1/3/1927 The dancers Victor Orchestra Orchestra composer  
Victor BVE-40956 10-in. 11/27/1927 I'll think of you Greta Woodson Female vocal solo, with violin, cello, and piano composer  
Victor BVE-41107 10-in. 11/25/1927 Did you mean it? Virginians Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo songwriter  
Victor BVE-41186 10-in. 12/19/1927 Did you mean it Grace Hayes Female vocal solo, with instrumental ensemble songwriter  
Victor BVE-41345 10-in. 12/8/1927 Did you mean it? Marion Harris Female vocal solo, with violin, piano, and accordion songwriter  
Victor BVE-45890 10-in. 7/19/1928 Driftwood George Olsen and his Music Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo songwriter  
Victor BVE-48778 10-in. 1/14/1929 Ya' comin' up to night, huh? Jean Goldkette Orchestra ; Wynken, Blynken, and Nod Jazz/dance band, with female vocal trio and monologue songwriter  
Victor BRC-53077 10-in. 5/1/1931 Faithfully yours Richard Barry ; Henry Busse Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo songwriter  
Victor PB-20 10-in. 6/13/1924 Mandalay Art Hickman's Orchestra ; Earl Burtnett Jazz/dance band composer  
(Results 1-25 of 414 records)


Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Lyman, Abe," accessed June 2, 2023, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/104409.

Lyman, Abe. (2023). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved June 2, 2023, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/104409.

"Lyman, Abe." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2023. Web. 2 June 2023.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/104409

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