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 176-200 of 414 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
OKeh W81791 10-in. 11/7/1927 Did you mean it? Royal Music Makers Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo songwriter  
OKeh W82071 10-in. 12/14/1927 I'll think of you Mark Fisher Male vocal solo, with violin, cello, and piano composer  
OKeh W82084 10-in. 12/16/1927 Did you mean it? Elite Trio Vocal, with piano songwriter  
Brunswick B88-B90 10-in. 9/8/1924 When I was the dandy and you were the belle Abe Lyman’s California Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Brunswick B91-B94 10-in. 9/8/1924 Eight ’till late Californians ; Abe Lyman Jazz/dance band leader, songwriter  
Brunswick B95-B98 10-in. 9/9/1924 Any way the wind blows Abe Lyman’s California Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Brunswick 11161 10-in. 8/8/1923 Before you go Lyman’s California Ambassador Orchestra Jazz/dance band composer  
Brunswick 11162 10-in. 8/8/1923 Havana Lyman’s California Ambassador Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Brunswick [13490a] 7/9/1924 No masters Californians ; Abe Lyman Jazz/dance band leader  
Brunswick [13542a] 7/15/1924 [Unknown title(s)] Californians ; Abe Lyman Jazz/dance band leader  
Brunswick B99-B100 10-in. 9/9/1924 Could you care for me Californians ; Abe Lyman Jazz/dance band leader, composer  
Brunswick 9950-9951 10-in. 2/20/1923 Peggy, dear Carl Fenton’s Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with whistling songwriter  
Brunswick 10162-10165 10-in. 3/22/1923 Apple sauce Benny Krueger’s Orchestra Jazz/dance band songwriter  
Brunswick 10771-10773 10-in. 5/29/1923 I cried for you Benny Krueger’s Orchestra Jazz/dance band composer  
Brunswick 11085-11088 10-in. 7/26/1923 Honey babe Lyman's California Ambassador Hotel Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader, composer  
Brunswick 11089-11092 10-in. 7/27/1923 Weary weazel Lyman's California Ambassador Hotel Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Brunswick 11093-11095 10-in. 7/27/1923 Havana Lyman’s California Ambassador Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Brunswick 11096-11099 10-in. 7/28/1923 Waters of Minnetonka Lyman’s California Ambassador Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Brunswick 11100-11103 10-in. 7/30/1923 California blues Abe Lyman’s California Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Brunswick 11104-11107 10-in. 7/31/1923 Before you go Lyman’s California Ambassador Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader, composer  
Brunswick 11108-11110 10-in. 8/1/1923 I don’t want you to cry over me Abe Lyman’s California Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader, songwriter  
Brunswick 11112-11115 10-in. 8/2/1923 Cut yourself a piece of cake Lyman’s California Ambassador Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Brunswick 11116-11119 10-in. 8/2/1923 Bugle call rag Lyman’s California Ambassador Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Brunswick 11128-11131 10-in. 8/3/1923 Midnight rose Lyman’s California Ambassador Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo leader  
Brunswick 11149-11152 10-in. 8/6/1923 Queen of Egypt Lyman’s California Ambassador Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
(Results 176-200 of 414 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Lyman, Abe," accessed February 3, 2023, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/104409.

Lyman, Abe. (2023). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved February 3, 2023, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/104409.

"Lyman, Abe." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2023. Web. 3 February 2023.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

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

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