Margie Hyams

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Marjorie Hyams
Born(1920-08-09)August 9, 1920
DiedJune 14, 2012(2012-06-14) (aged 91)
GenresJazz, Modal Jazz, Third Stream, Cool Jazz, Post-Bop
Instrumentsvibes, piano
Years active1940–1970
LabelsDecca, Black & White, MGM, Verve
Associated actsWoody Herman, Flip Phillips, Mary Lou Williams, Charlie Ventura, George Shearing

Marjorie "Marjie" Hyams (August 9, 1920 – June 14, 2012)[1] was an American jazz vibraphonist, pianist, and arranger. She began her career as a vibraphonist in the 1940s, playing with Woody Herman (from 1944 to 1945), the Hip Chicks (1945),[2] Mary Lou Williams (1946), Charlie Ventura (1946), George Shearing (from 1949 to 1950), and led her own groups, including a trio, which stayed together from 1945 to 1948, performing on 52nd Street in Manhattan.[3] The media, marquees, and promos often spelled her first-name "Margie;" but, she insisted that it was spelled with a "j."


South side of 52nd Street, New York, between 5th & 6th Avenues — looking east (ca. 1948). Notice the Margie Hyams Trio on the marquee at the 3 Deuces
Photo: William P. Gottlieb, United States Library of Congress's Music Division

Hyams had her own trio and quartet (1940–1944) and played with Woody Herman (1944–1945) and Flip Phillips in the mid-1940s. She formed another trio with guitarists such as Tal Farlow, Mundell Lowe, and Billy Bauer from 1945 to 1948. She also arranged and sang with Charlie Ventura, and recorded with Mary Lou Williams. Hyams joined George Shearing in (1949–51).

Woody Herman

Jack Siefert (Jacob William Siefert; born 1918), a lifelong friend of Woody Herman, introduced Hyams to Herman, who had already broken convention by hiring a female instrumentalist in 1941, Billie Rogers (born 1919).[4] Rogers played trumpet with Herman until 1943.[5] Hyams is one of Woody's exceptional alumni vibraphonists that included Terry Gibbs, Red Norvo, and Milt Jackson, all of whom, according to jazz author Doug Ramsey, were part of a Who's Who quality of an imaginary line-up that was staggering.[6]


On June 6, 1950, Marjie Hyams married William G. Ericsson (1927–1978)[10][11][12][13][14] in Chicago,[15] and, from 1951 to 1970, played, taught, and arranged in Chicago.[16] Marjie and Bill had three children: Lisa, Kristin (deceased) and Tod.


  • Brother, Mark Hyams (1914–2007) was a jazz pianist who played with big bands, including those of Will Hudson (mid-1930s) and Spud Murphy (late 1930s). Mark married L'ana Webster (née Alleman; 1912–1997), a saxophonist and bandleader who was once married to jazz guitarist Jimmy Webster (James Donart Webster; 1908–1978)

Selected discography[edit]

Woody Herman
CBS’s Old Gold Show Rehearsal, New York, September 27, 1944
Hindsight 134, Jazz Unlimited (Denmark) 201-2085 CD
Hindsight 134, Jazz Unlimited (Denmark) 201-2085 CD
  • Noah
Flip Phillips Fliptet
New York, October 2, 1944
Neal Hefti (trumpet), Bill Harris (trombone), Aaron Sachs (clarinet), Flip Phillips (tenor sax), Marjorie Hyams (vibraphone), Ralph Burns (piano), Billy Bauer (guitar), Chubby Jackson (bass), Dave Tough (drums)
S1: Skyscraper (Hyams not on this cut) Signature 28106, Bob Thiele BBM1-1032, RCA (F) FXM3-7324
S2: Pappilloma Signature 28106, Bob Thiele BBM1-1032
S3: A melody from the sky Signature 28119, Br 80175, Bob Thiele BBM1-1032, RCA (F) FXM3-7324
S4: 1-2-3-4 jump (Woodchoppers) Shelton 1201, Bob Thiele BBM1-1032
Notes: Bob Thiele BBM1-1032 titled "A melody from the sky." All above titles also on Doctor Jazz FW39419 titled "A melody from the sky" and Sony Music AK39419 CD titled "A melody from the sky"; see following sessions to late November 1945 for rest of CD.
Woody Herman
CBS’s Old Gold Show Rehearsal, New York, October 4, 1944
  • Apple Honey
Hindsight 134
Woody Herman
AFRS Downbeat 141; possibly from CBS’s Old Gold Shows, New York, August – September 1944
Jazum 55, First Heard (United Kingdom) FH36
  • Half past jumpin' time (arranged by Neal Hefti)
    (aka Jones Beachhead)
Jazum 56, First Heard (United Kingdom) FH36
  • Golden wedding
  • Four or five times (Woody Herman Band, vocals)
Notes: All titles on Solid Sender (Germany) SOL506<
Woody Herman
AFRS One Night Stand 396 Broadcast, Hollywood Palladium, Hollywood, California, October 17, 1944
  • Who dat up dere?
Jass JCD621 CD
  • Woodchopper's ball
  • Theme
Notes: Opening night, during the band's stay in Hollywood they filmed Earl Carroll's Vanities for Republic Pictures in which they played Apple Honey (only the first half of the number is audible in the final print)
Source: Tom Lord Discography (2012)


General references[edit]

  • The Complete Jazz At the Philharmonic On Verve, 1944–49, 10 CDs, Verve Records (1998) OCLC 50117266
  • Scott Yanow, Marjorie Hyams at Allmusic
  • The Complete Encyclopedia of Popular Music and Jazz, 1900-1950, Three volumes, by Roger D. Kinkle (1916–2000), "Hyams" in Vol 2, Arlington House Publishers, New Rochelle, NY (1974) OCLC 897890 ISBN 9780870002298
  • The Encyclopedia of Popular Music, Third edition, Eight volumes, edited by Colin Larkin, "Hyams in Vol 4, Muze, London (1998) Grove's Dictionaries, New York (1998) OCLC 39837948 ISBN 9781561592371
  • The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, First edition, Two volumes, edited by Barry Dean Kernfeld (born 1950), Macmillan Press, London (1988) OCLC 16804283 ISBN 9780333398463
  • The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, edited by Barry Dean Kernfeld (born 1950), St. Martin's Press, New York (1994) OCLC 30516743 ISBN 9780312113575
  • The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, Second edition, Three volumes, edited by Barry Dean Kernfeld (born 1950), Macmillan Publishers, London (2002) OCLC 46956628 ISBN 9781561592845
  • William D. Clancy, with Audree Coke Kenton, foreword by Steve Allen, Woody Herman: Chronicles of the Herds, Schirmer Books (1995) OCLC 243809412, 31435792, 462271707

Inline citations[edit]

  1. ^ "Passings Yvette Wilson, Margie Hyams". The Los Angeles Times. June 16, 2012.
  2. ^ Gilbert Chase (1906–1992), American Music, From the Pilgrims to the Present,' revised 3rd ed., pg. 522, University of Illinois Press (1987) OCLC 15017443 ISBN 0252062752
  3. ^ Sally Joan Placksin (born 1948), American Women in Jazz, 1900 to Present, Wideview Books, 1982 OCLC 8280710, 252415225 ISBN 9780872237605
  4. ^ Gene Lees, Leader of the Band: The Life of Woody Herman, Oxford University Press (1995) OCLC 32013538 ISBN 9780195056716
  5. ^ Jack Siefert Woody Herman Collection, 1913-1990, Smithsonian Institution Research Information System, Archives Center at American History, Call No. ACNMAH 0659
  6. ^ Douglas K. Ramsey, Jazz Matters: Reflections on the Music & Some of Its Makers, pg. 118 University of Arkansas Press (1989) OCLC 18412169 ISBN 9781557280602
  7. ^ Linda M. Dahl (born 1949), Stormy weather: the music and lives of a century of jazzwomen, pps. 79 & 87 Pantheon Books (1984) OCLC 10020976, 12462670, 234287578 ISBN 9780039453558
  8. ^ Chris Gunnar Albertson (born 1931), Interview with Marjorie Haymes: Women in Jazz, Stereo Review, Volume 41, pg. 141 (September 1978) OCLC 1766502 LCCN sf86-91851
  9. ^ Liner notes by Art Napolean, transcribed from Albertson's 1978 Stereo Review interview, Forty Years of Women in Jazz (sound recording) OCLC 23470354
  10. ^ Standard & Poor's Register of Corporations, Directors and Executives, 1975 edition, Volume 2: Directors and Executives. New York: Standard & Poor's Corp. (1975) OCLC 1682253, 663901222, 35199232 OCLC 43331893
  11. ^ Who's Who in America, 38th edition, 1974–1975, Marquis Who's Who, Wilmette, IL (1974) OCLC 23953115 ISBN 9780837901381
  12. ^ Who's Who in America, 39th edition, 1976–1977, Marquis Who's Who, Wilmette, IL (1976) OCLC 23953086 ISBN 9780837901398
  13. ^ Who's Who in America, 40th edition, 1978–1979, Marquis Who's Who, Wilmette, IL (1978) OCLC 4199915 ISBN 9780837901404
  14. ^ Obituary: William G. Ericsson, Chicago Tribune, November 1, 1978
  15. ^ Cook County, Illinois, Marriage Index, 1930–1960
  16. ^ Marc Alyse Myers (born 1956), Interview: Marjorie Hyams, JazzWax, February 17, 2011