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Abe Lyman

(August 4th 1897 - October 23rd 1957)

Abraham Simon was born in Chicago in 1897 and learned to play the drums in his youth. He played his first gig at a Chicago café when he was fourteen and along with his brother Mike decided to change their name to "Lyman" because it had a better commercial appeal. In 1919 Abe moved to California where he formed his own band playing with future bandleaders Henry Halstead and Gus Arnheim. Adding violin and saxophone to his nine piece Orchestra, Abe opened at the Cocoanut Grove at The Ambassador Hotel on April 1st 1922 to a crowd of two thousand. That same year the "Abe Lyman Orchestra" cut their first recordings for the Nordskog label before signing with Brunswick in 1923. Achieving tremendous success the Lyman band continued to be active up until the mid-1940's when their drummer and bandleader retired. Abe Lyman went on to open a restaurant in Beverly Hills, California and died there at age sixty.

Videos:

The Varsity Drag (5:12)

Twelfth Street Rag (3:40)

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