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 201-225 of 414 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Brunswick 11153-11154 10-in. 8/6/1923 By the waters of Minnetonka Abe Lyman’s California Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Brunswick 11155-11157 10-in. 8/7/1923 I don’t want you to cry over me Marion Harris Female vocal solo, with orchestra songwriter, leader  
Brunswick 11158-11160 10-in. 8/7/1923 Before you go Marion Harris Female vocal solo, with orchestra leader, composer  
Brunswick 11462-11464 10-in. 9/28/1923 Before you go Marion Harris Female vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Brunswick 11465-11467 10-in. 9/28/1923 I don't want you to cry over me Marion Harris Female vocal solo, with orchestra songwriter  
Brunswick 11588-11591 10-in. 10/10/1923 Love is just a flower Isham Jones Orchestra Jazz/dance band composer  
Brunswick 11692-11694 10-in. 10/23/1923 Before you go Lyman's California Ambassador Hotel Orchestra Jazz/dance band composer, leader  
Brunswick 13328-13331 10-in. 6/14/1924 Jealous Californians ; Charles Kaley ; Abe Lyman Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo leader  
Brunswick 13332-13334 10-in. 6/14/1924 If you do what you do Californians ; Abe Lyman Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo leader  
Brunswick 13446-13449 10-in. 6/30/1924 Cocoanut trot Californians ; Abe Lyman Jazz/dance band leader, songwriter  
Brunswick 13472-13474 10-in. 7/2/1924 Mandalay Abe Lyman’s California Orchestra ; Al Jolson Male vocal solo, with jazz/dance band composer, leader  
Brunswick 13487-13490 10-in. 7/9/1924 A new kind of man Abe Lyman’s California Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Brunswick 13524-13527 10-in. 7/11/1924 The cocoanut trot Californians ; Abe Lyman Jazz/dance band leader, songwriter  
Brunswick 13548-13550 10-in. 7/15/1924 You‘re the certain someone Abe Lyman’s California Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader, composer  
Brunswick 13551-13554 10-in. 7/16/1924 I want you back, old pal Abe Lyman’s California Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo leader  
Brunswick 13555-13558 10-in. 7/17/1924 Sally’s got the blues Abe Lyman’s California Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader, composer  
Brunswick 13566-13569 10-in. 7/18/1924 Who wants a bad little boy? Californians ; Al Jolson ; Abe Lyman Male vocal solo, with jazz/dance band leader  
Brunswick 13576-13579 10-in. 7/21/1924 Romany days Abe Lyman’s California Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader, composer  
Brunswick 13589-13592 10-in. 7/23/1924 Patsy Abe Lyman’s California Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Brunswick 13593-13595 10-in. 7/23/1924 I don’t know why Abe Lyman’s California Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Brunswick 13758-13761 10-in. 9/10/1924 Out of a million you’re the only one Abe Lyman’s California Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Brunswick 13762-13765 10-in. 9/10/1924 All alone Abe Lyman’s California Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Brunswick 13766-13768 10-in. 9/11/1924 Could you care for me? Abe Lyman’s California Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader, composer  
Brunswick E7315 10-in. 4/19/1928 I think of what you used to think of me Sylvia Marion Hirsch Female vocal solo, with violin, guitar, and piano songwriter  
Brunswick E28703 10-in. 11/7/1928 Havana Marimba Guatemalteca “La Chapina” Marimba band songwriter  
(Results 201-225 of 414 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Lyman, Abe," accessed January 27, 2023, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/104409.

Lyman, Abe. (2023). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved January 27, 2023, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/104409.

"Lyman, Abe." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2023. Web. 27 January 2023.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

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

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