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 151-175 of 414 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Columbia W144770 10-in. 10/27/1927 Did you mean it? Frank Harris ; Hollywood Orchestra ; Vincent Rose ; Jackie Taylor Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo songwriter  
Columbia W144846 10-in. 10/10/1927 Did you mean it? Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with instrumental quintet songwriter  
Columbia 144890 10-in. 10/21/1927 Did you mean it? Astorites Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo songwriter  
Columbia W144921 10-in. 10/28/1927 I'll think of you Al Lentz Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal trio composer  
Columbia W145414 10-in. 12/15/1927 I'll think of you Seger Ellis Male vocal solo, with instrumental trio composer  
Columbia W145603 10-in. 2/3/1928 Did you mean it? Marsh McCurdy Pipe organ solo, with vibraphone and xylophone songwriter  
Columbia 146313 10-in. 5/21/1928 Just a little bit o' driftwood The Harmonians [Selvin's Orchestra] Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo songwriter  
Columbia W146547 10-in. 6/18/1928 Just a little bit o' driftwood Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo songwriter  
Columbia W147019 10-in. 9/18/1928 Sleepy baby Ruth Etting Female vocal solo, with instrumental trio songwriter  
Columbia W147515 10-in. 11/17/1928 Sleepy baby Charlie Lawman Male vocal solo, with violin, cello, and piano songwriter  
Columbia W151569 10-in. 5/26/1931 Faithfully yours Ruth Etting Female vocal solo, with instrumental ensemble songwriter  
Columbia W151869 10-in. 10/30/1931 I'll think of you Joe Gumin Orchestra Jazz/dance band composer  
Columbia W351020 10-in. 5/19/1931 Faithfully yours Selvin’s Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo songwriter  
OKeh 8641 10-in. June 1924 Mandalay Finzel's Arcadia Orchestra of Detroit Jazz/dance band composer  
OKeh S-71273 10-in. Feb. 1923 Peggy dear Markel's Orchestra Jazz/dance band songwriter  
OKeh S-71414 10-in. Apr. 1923 Apple sauce Red Caps Jazz/dance band songwriter  
OKeh S-71599 10-in. June 1923 I cried for you (Now it's your turn to cry over me) Markel's Orchestra Jazz/dance band composer  
OKeh S-72465 10-in. Apr. 1924 In the land of shady palm trees Nathan Glantz Orchestra Jazz/dance band composer  
OKeh S-72740 10-in. Aug. 1924 Mandalay Lewis James Male vocal solo, with orchestra songwriter  
OKeh S-72941 10-in. 10/28/1924 Romany days Hotel Pennsylvania Orchestra ; Vincent Lopez Jazz/dance band composer  
OKeh 73719 10-in. Oct. 1925 Summer nights Bruce Wallace Male vocal solo, with instrumental trio and bird and bell effects songwriter  
OKeh 73806 10-in. 12/2/1925 You told me to go The Red Hotters Jazz/dance band composer  
OKeh 73947 10-in. 1/21/1926 What can I say after I say I'm sorry? Melody Sheiks Jazz/dance band composer  
OKeh W81547 10-in. 10/14/1927 Did you mean it? Seger Ellis ; Justin Ring Trio Male vocal solo, with instrumental trio songwriter  
OKeh W81576 10-in. 10/26/1927 Did you mean it? Frankie Trumbauer’s Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo songwriter  
(Results 151-175 of 414 records)


Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Lyman, Abe," accessed February 4, 2023, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/104409.

Lyman, Abe. (2023). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved February 4, 2023, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/104409.

"Lyman, Abe." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2023. Web. 4 February 2023.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

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

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