Abe Lyman’s Orch. - One Hour With You, 1932

Abe Lyman’s California Orchestra, voc. Phil Neely - One Hour With You, Fox-trot from the Paramount Production “One Hour With You“ (Robin - Whitinh), Brunswick 1932 (USA) NOTE: Abe Lyman’s dance orchestra was a pioneering Los Angeles-based dance-jazz band, active in the Roaring Twenties and thru 1930s. Brothers Abe and Mike Lyman (originally “Lymon“) were natives of Chicago. In 1918, Mike left Chicago for LA to play in a band at Sunset Inn in Santa Monica. A couple of years later, in 1918 he brought Abe to lead it. In next three years, they built up an impressive orchestra composed of best players, many from New Orleans (future British bandleader and trumpet player Roy Fox was among the first to join). Many musicians, disaffected with Paul Whiteman’s early orchestra (including Miff Mole, for a time) also joined the Lyman’s hot dance band. The group was a great success with the Hollywood crowd and the now Lyman’s Ambassador Hotel Califoirnia Orchestra started to perform at the fashionable Ambassador Hotel’s Cocoanut Grove in Los Angeles. In 1923, Lyman’s Orchestra began to record for the Brunswick label. Their initial discs of tunes such as “California Blues“ and “Weary Weasel“ (composed by Abe Lyman) proved enormously popular and the group continued to record for Brunswick prolifically through 1934. Their popularity in Los Angeles skyrocketed when Charlie Chaplin drew upon the Orchestra’s talents to assist with his recording debut as singer in 1925, an experiment that Chaplin decided not to repeat. In 1928, Abe Lyman and his orchestra made their film debut in a Vitaphone short titled Syncopated Symphony, and through the mid-’30s, the Lyman Orchestra made a number of appearances in filmed features and shorts. In 1931, the group synchronized three shorts for Warner Brothers’ Merrie Melodies; one of these, “Smile Darn Ya Smile“ is the most frequently revived and has helped, more than any of Lyman’s recordings, to keep the name of Abe Lyman’s Californians before the public in posterity. However, the new owner of Brunswic Records decided to terminate their recording contract. They adjusted through working on radio, and did well -- by 1937, they were among a rotating string of orchestras that played on CBS’ popular Your Hit Parade program. The orchestra returned to recording for Decca in 1937, but it was clear that though the group managed to survive the depression, the heyday for the band was over. In 1946, Lyman got into the restaurant business and he was still working in it when he died a decade later, at age 60.
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