Mel Lyman
in The Broadside
(Cambridge, Massachusetts),
1965-66


From a review of Jug Band Music by Robert J. Lurtsema. March 31, 1965
From a review of Eric sings von Schmidt by Cori Randle. May 12, 1965
Notes from a Variant Stanza Collector, by Ed Freeman . Nov. 24, 1965
Memorial to Richard Farina, by Mel Lyman. May 25, 1966
Letter to the Editor, by Martin Russell. May 25, 1966

From a review of Jug Band Music by Robert J. Lurtsema. March 31, 1965

Mel Lyman's harmonica sets the pace for "The Jug Band Waltz," which I've played over and over, and I still can't get enough of it. The only instrumental, it is a veritable lesson in sustained humor. This one cut is worth the cost of the whole record.

From a review of Eric sings von Schmidt by Cori Randle. May 12, 1965

I'd like to say a few words about Mel Lyman's harp, too. Tony (Little Son) Glover, a pretty mean ole harp man 'is own self, has called Mel "the best around." One listen to this record shows the reason why. Mel Lyman is subtle and tasteful. He complements Von Schmidt rather than overpowers him.

Notes from a Variant Stanza Collector. Ed Freeman. November 24, 1965.

Excerpt from Freeman's piece on Bob Dylan:

Memorial to Richard Farina

Mel Lyman. May 25, 1966.

Dear Dick,
I'm just writing this because tonight I found out how much I really love you and how much everybody who knows you loves you, I know I can't feel this much grief by myself, I know I'm feeling the tears of everyone who ever knew you and who is crying for you tonight. I don't even know why we're crying, it just hurts so much that you're gone.
Love,
Mel

Letter to the Editor

Martin Russell. May 25, 1966.

Dear BROADSIDE:

Mel Lyman. Since seeing and hearing him Saturday at the Brandeis Folk Festival, I am amazed.

I had never heard him sing, didn't know he could; but wow! at the Children's Concert I tasted his voice. Such beauty, a really unique emotional quality to it. Then there is his laugh, never before heard real expression from a real person.

At Saturday evening's performance, the Chambers Brothers were late due to car trouble, so Mel came up and sang a hymn. I was awed by this thin man; what a voice. Well, after the concert, he was asked to play a hymn on his harmonica. He played about a minute when a policeman ordered him to break it up because of curfew. Mel opened one eye, obeyed, and continued to play, in silence with closed eyes.

What a beautiful person.

Martin Russell


(Thanks to Doug Thompson for the material on this page, and the other Broadside and record album material!)
Mel Lyman