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|
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.
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