Wilde World: Arthur Lyman Group

Kim Wilde’s first records were written and produced by her father and brother, Marty and Ricky. The three of them have had a great influence on the music world, as this regular series ‘Wilde World’ shows.

Arthur Lyman was an American jazz vibraphone and marimba player. The group he formed made a sort of Polynesian music popular during the Fifties and Sixties. His albums became favorite stereo-effect demonstration discs during the early days of the stereophonic LP album for their elaborate and colorful percussion, deep bass and 3-dimensional recording soundstage. Bornon February 2, 1932, he was the youngest of eight children of a Hawaiian mother and a father of Hawaiian, French, Belgian and Chinese descent. In his twenties, he met pianist Martin Denny, who offered him a place in his band. After five years, he went his own way and continued the Hawaiian style of Denny’s group but in an even more flamboyant way. Although the Polynesian craze faded as music trends changed, Lyman’s combo continued to play to tourists nearly every Friday and Saturday night at the New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel in Honolulu throughout the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s.

In 1969, the Arthur Lyman Group released the album ‘Today’s Greatest Hits’, a collection of the year’s biggest hits in his own instrumental style. One of the tracks on the album was Marty Wilde’s ‘Abergavenny’. You can listen to the track here. Arthur Lyman died from esophageal cancer on February 24, 2002.