Stars of Vaudeville #771: Abe Lyman and His Orchestra
Today is the birthday of Abe Lyman (Abraham Simon, 1897-1957). Lyman started off in his youth as a drummer in Chicago night clubs. By 1919 he had his own nine piece band that was popular in Los Angeles. His breakthrough came with a smash success at the Coconut Grove in 1922, which led to recording contracts, radio and film work, and bookings in top night clubs, vaudeville and presentation houses, and music halls in London and Paris. You can see them in a lot of early sound films such as Hold Everything, Paramount on Parade and Madame Satan (all 1930). By the mid 40s tastes in music had changed; Lyman retired from music to work in the restaurant business.
Here they are in a very early talkie from 1927, playing the Varsity Drag:
To find out more about the history of vaudeville, consult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold.
And check out my new book: Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube, just released by Bear Manor Media, also available from amazon.com etc etc etc