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Lyons Band Instrument Company Collection

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1903.1/24549

Abstract

Title:
Lyons Band Instrument Company Collection
Author/Creator:
Lyons Band Instrument Company Collection
Collection number:
96-80-MWIBOC
Size:
3.5 linear feet
Bulk dates:
1956-1980
Inclusive dates:
1939-2003
Collection Area:
Special Collections in Performing Arts
Repository:
Special Collections in Performing Arts, Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library, Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742. Contact the curator: http://www.lib.umd.edu/scpa/contact
Abstract:

At its height, Lyons was one of the largest music dealers in the country, and was a co-sponsor of the 1st Annual Midwest Band Clinic in 1947. The company, originally based in Chicago, was one of the first to send salesmen on the road, selling instruments all over the country. The Lyons Band Instrument Company was the nations exclusive distributor of the Tonette, a recorder-like instrument marketed to elementary students and a method book published by Lyons entitled Melody Fun, which became a standard in schools across the country. The Lyons Band Instrument Company was eventually purchased by Selmer and its headquarters moved to Elkhart, Indiana. Sold off in the early 1990s, the company is now independent again and known as Lyons Music Products.

Important Information for Users of the Collection

Restrictions:

There are no restricted files in this collection.

Preferred citation:

Lyons Band Instrument Company Collection, Special Collections, University of Maryland Libraries.

Publication rights:

Materials from this collection must be used in the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library's Irving and Margery Morgan Lowens Special Collections Room, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday. Please make an appointment with the curator: Vincent J. Novara Tel: 301.405.9220, Email: vnovara@umd.edu

Status:

This collection is PROCESSED.

Historical Note

In 1928, Lyons Band Instrument Company was founded by William H. Lyons (president), Howard R. Lyons (vice president), and Clarence L. McCreery (secretary treasurer). The original Lyons store was located at 17 West Lake Street in Chicago, and their principal business was the sale of band instruments. However, they soon saw that grade school band programs were growing and decided to focus on the school music end of the business. In 1930, the first band instrument rental plan was devised and tried on an experimental basis. To advertise their rental plan and their ability to completely rebuild and refinish instruments, a newspaper was published called The Lyons Band News and Kjos Music News. It contained articles about successful programs, teaching tips, and new items coming on the market. In the late 1930s and early 1940s, the Swanson Tonette was invented, and Lyons was the sole distributor. To promote the new instrument, it was paired with an instructional book, Melody Fun, which taught basic music theory principles, as well as breath control and fingering. The companys reputation expended in 1947 when they helped to organize the first Annual Midwest National Band and Orchestra Clinic. Eventually, as William and Howard Lyons were retiring, the company changed hands several times, eventually being bought by the Selmer Company in 1970. Sold off by Selmer in the early 1990s, the company is again independent and known as Lyons Music Products.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Lyons Band Instrument Company Papers cover the period from 1939 to 2003; the bulk of the materials date from 1956 to 1980. The collection consists of materials mainly related to Lyons company and their publications. Materials include correspondence to and from Lyons and/or Lyons Instrument Co; published journals; books; photographs; business documents; and reel-to-reel tape recordings believed to be of Midwest Band Clinic performances.

Custodial History and Acquisition Information

Most items in this collection were received as a gift of Don Lyons on February 27, 1996. The majority of the items are housed with the Midwest Clinic. Copies of Lyons periodicals are located in the Lowens Room and reel-to-reel tapes are found in MSPAL Paged Collections.

Processing Information

Processed by:

Bradley Mariska (November 2003) and A.J. Reitter (October 2013)

Encoded by:

EAD markup created using EAD database in Microsoft Access. Markup completed by Nicole Horstman, November 2013.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Series 1: Lyons Correspondence, 1957-1979 and undated (21 items)

This collection includes correspondence to Don Lyon from various correspondents. Items are arranged chronologically by date.

DescriptionSeriesBox / ReelFolder / FrameItem
Lyons Correspondence, 1957-1979 and undated series 1box 1folder 1
Letter to Don Lyons from Amy Jean Hulse, April 17, 1957 series 1box 1folder 1item 1.0
Letter to Don Lyons from Wade Fair, December 22, 1960 series 1box 1folder 1item 2.0
Letter to Don Lyons from Sister Adeline, August 29, 1962 series 1box 1folder 1item 3.0
Letter to Don Lyons from Lee and Ruth Petersen, December 23, 1962 series 1box 1folder 1item 4.0
Letter to Don Lyons from Sally Monsour, January 18, 1963 series 1box 1folder 1item 5.0
Letter to Don Lyons from Adeline, January 26, 1963 series 1box 1folder 1item 6.0
Letter to the Mid-West National Band Clinic from Lee W. Petersen, August 27, 1963 series 1box 1folder 1item 7.0
Letter to Don Lyons from Richard Bates, September 19, 1963 series 1box 1folder 1item 8.0
Letter to Howard Lyons from Ruth and Lee, December 22, 1963 series 1box 1folder 1item 9.0
Letter to Don Lyons from Denise OBrien, January 1964 series 1box 1folder 1item 10.0
Letter to Don Lyons from Franklin J. Lockwood, January 17, 1964 series 1box 1folder 1item 11.0
Letter to Don Lyons from Harry Lantz, January 27, 1964 series 1box 1folder 1item 12.0
Letter to Don Lyons from Mary R. Tolbert, January 30, 1964 series 1box 1folder 1item 13.0
Letter to Don Lyons from Adeline McCall, February 1, 1964 series 1box 1folder 1item 14.0
Letter to Howard Lyons from Sarah OMalley, June 25, 1964 series 1box 1folder 1item 15.0
Letter to Don Lyons from Ruth and Lee, December 21, 1964 series 1box 1folder 1item 16.0
Letter to Don Lyons from D.L. Schumacher, February 24, 1966 series 1box 1folder 1item 17.0
Letter to Don Lyons from Richard Reinauer, March 3, 1966 series 1box 1folder 1item 18.0
Letter to Don Lyons from Selmer, Inc., June 13, 1967 series 1box 1folder 1item 19.0
Letter to Don Lyons from Raymond F. Dvorak, August 11, 1979 series 1box 1folder 1item 20.0
Letter to band directors from Lyons Band Instrument Co., undated series 1box 1folder 1item 21.0

Series 2: Company Materials and Documents, undated (2 folders)

This series includes general company documents including retail and recruiting information, as well as A Short History of Lyons.

DescriptionSeriesBox / ReelFolder / FrameItem
Company Materials and Documents, undated series 2box 1folder 2
A Short History of Lyons, undated series 2box 1folder 2item 1.0
Several general company documents, undated series 2box 1folder 2item 1.0
Retail information, undated series 2box 1folder 2item 2.0
Company Materials and Documents, undated series 2box 1folder 3
Recruiting information, undated series 2box 1folder 3item 3.0

Series 3: Catalogues, 1956-2003 (15 items)

This series contains 15 catalogs distributed by Lyons Band Instrument Co. Items are arrange chronologically by publication date.

DescriptionSeriesBox / ReelFolder / FrameItem
Catalogues, 1956-2003 series 3box 2folder 1
General Catalog no. 15; leather bound, inscribed by Ed Wall, undated series 3box 2folder 1item 1.0
Elementary Catalog, 1956-1957 series 3box 2folder 1item 2.0
School Catalog no. 65, 1964 series 3box 2folder 1item 3.0
School Catalog no. 66 for Elementary and Secondary, 1965 series 3box 2folder 1item 4.0
School Catalog no. 67, 1966 series 3box 2folder 1item 5.0
School Catalog no. 69, 1968 series 3box 2folder 1item 6.0
School Catalog no. 71, 1971 series 3box 2folder 1item 7.0
Teachers Guide, 1972 series 3box 2folder 1item 8.0
School Catalog, 1973 series 3box 2folder 1item 9.0
Pre-School/Primary Catalog, 1974 series 3box 2folder 1item 10.0
Teachers Guide, 1974 series 3box 2folder 1item 11.0
School Catalog, 1977 series 3box 2folder 1item 12.0
Band Catalog, 1979 series 3box 2folder 1item 13.0
Back to School Product Guide, supplement to Catalog E and B, 1983 series 3box 2folder 1item 14.0
Lyons Music Products, 2003 series 3box 2folder 1item 15.0

Series 4: Periodicals, 1939-1980 (90 items)

This series includes periodicals published by the Lyons Company, including: Tonette News, Lyons Band News and Neil A. Kjos Music News, Lyons Elementary News, Lyons Music News, and Lyons Teacher News. All issues can be found in SCPA Periodicals, Lowens Room, with the exception of Tonette News; duplicate copies are stored with the collection.

DescriptionSeriesBox / ReelFolder / FrameItem
Tonette News, 1939 series 4box 3folder 1
1-1, 1939 series 4box 3folder 1item 1.0
Lyons Band News and Neil A. Kjos Music News, 1959-1965 series 4box 3folder 2
13-3, undated series 4box 3folder 2item 1.0
14-3, undated series 4box 3folder 2item 2.0
15-4, undated series 4box 3folder 2item 3.0
16-1, undated series 4box 3folder 2item 4.0
17-3, undated series 4box 3folder 2item 5.0
19-4, undated series 4box 3folder 2item 6.0
20-1, undated series 4box 3folder 2item 7.0
20-2, undated series 4box 3folder 2item 8.0
20-3, undated series 4box 3folder 2item 9.0
20-4, undated series 4box 3folder 2item 10.0
21-1, 1955 series 4box 3folder 2item 11.0
21-2, 1955 series 4box 3folder 2item 12.0
21-3, 1956 series 4box 3folder 2item 13.0
21-4, 1956 series 4box 3folder 2item 14.0
22-1, September 1956 series 4box 3folder 2item 15.0
22-2, November 1956 series 4box 3folder 2item 16.0
22-3, January 1957 series 4box 3folder 2item 17.0
22-4, April 1957 series 4box 3folder 2item 18.0
23-1, October 1957 series 4box 3folder 2item 19.0
23-3, February 1958 series 4box 3folder 2item 20.0
23-4, April 1958 series 4box 3folder 2item 21.0
24-1, September 1958 series 4box 3folder 2item 22.0
24-2, October 1958 series 4box 3folder 2item 23.0
24-3, February 1959 series 4box 3folder 2item 24.0
24-4, April 1959 series 4box 3folder 2item 25.0
25-1, September 1959 series 4box 3folder 2item 26.0
25-2, November 1959 series 4box 3folder 2item 27.0
25-3, February 1960 series 4box 3folder 2item 28.0
25-4, April 1960 series 4box 3folder 2item 29.0
26-1, September 1960 series 4box 3folder 2item 30.0
26-2, November 1960 series 4box 3folder 2item 31.0
26-3, February 1961 series 4box 3folder 2item 32.0
26-4, April 1961 series 4box 3folder 2item 33.0
27-1, September 1961 series 4box 3folder 2item 34.0
27-2, November 1961 series 4box 3folder 2item 35.0
27-3, February 1962 series 4box 3folder 2item 36.0
27-4, April 1962 series 4box 3folder 2item 37.0
28-1, September 1962 series 4box 3folder 2item 38.0
28-2, November 1962 series 4box 3folder 2item 39.0
28-3, April 1963 series 4box 3folder 2item 40.0
29-1, September 1963 series 4box 3folder 2item 41.0
29-2, November 1963 series 4box 3folder 2item 42.0
29-3, March 1964 series 4box 3folder 2item 43.0
30-1, September 1964 series 4box 3folder 2item 44.0
30-2, November 1964 series 4box 3folder 2item 45.0
30-3, March 1965 series 4box 3folder 2item 46.0
31-1, September 1965 series 4box 3folder 2item 47.0
31-2, November 1965 series 4box 3folder 2item 48.0
Lyons Elementary News, 1962-1965 series 4box 3folder 3
Vol. 2, Fall 1962 series 4box 3folder 3item 1.0
vol. 3, Spring 1963 series 4box 3folder 3item 2.0
Vol. 4, Fall 1963 series 4box 3folder 3item 3.0
Vol. 5, Fall 1964 series 4box 3folder 3item 4.0
Vol. 6, Spring 1965 series 4box 3folder 3item 5.0
Vol. 7, Fall 1965 series 4box 3folder 3item 6.0
Lyons Music News (formerly Lyons Elementary News), 1966-1976 series 4box 3folder 4
Vol. 8, Spring 1966 series 4box 3folder 4item 1.0
Vol. 9, September 1966 series 4box 3folder 4item 2.0
Vol. 10, November 1966 series 4box 3folder 4item 3.0
Vol. 11, Spring 1967 series 4box 3folder 4item 4.0
Vol. 12, September 1967 series 4box 3folder 4item 5.0
Vol. 13, November 1967 series 4box 3folder 4item 6.0
Vol. 14, Spring 1968 series 4box 3folder 4item 7.0
Vol. 15, September 1968 series 4box 3folder 4item 8.0
Vol. 16, Winter 1968 series 4box 3folder 4item 9.0
Vol. 17, Spring 1969 series 4box 3folder 4item 10.0
Vol. 18, no. 1, Fall 1969 series 4box 3folder 4item 11.0
Vol. 18, no. 3, Spring 1970 series 4box 3folder 4item 12.0
Vol. 19, no 1, Fall 1970 series 4box 3folder 4item 13.0
Vol. 19, no. 2, Winter 1970 series 4box 3folder 4item 14.0
Vol. 19, no. 3, Spring 1971 series 4box 3folder 4item 15.0
Vol. 20, no. 1, Fall 1971 series 4box 3folder 4item 16.0
Vol. 20, no. 2, Winter 1971 series 4box 3folder 4item 17.0
Vol. 20, no. 3, Spring 1971 series 4box 3folder 4item 18.0
Vol. 21, no. 1, Fall 1972 series 4box 3folder 4item 19.0
Lyons Teacher News (formerly Lyons Music News), 1972-1980 series 4box 3folder 5
21-2, Winter 1972 series 4box 3folder 5item 1.0
21-3, Spring 1973 series 4box 3folder 5item 2.0
22-1, Fall 1973 series 4box 3folder 5item 3.0
22-2, Winter 1973 series 4box 3folder 5item 4.0
23-3, Spring 1975 series 4box 3folder 5item 5.0
24-1, Fall/Winter 1975 series 4box 3folder 5item 6.0
24-3, Spring 1976 series 4box 3folder 5item 7.0
25-1, Fall/Winter 1976 series 4box 3folder 5item 8.0
25-2, Spring 1977 series 4box 3folder 5item 9.0
26-1, Fall/Winter 1977 series 4box 3folder 5item 10.0
26-2, Spring 1978 series 4box 3folder 5item 11.0
27-1, Fall/Winter 1978 series 4box 3folder 5item 12.0
27-2, Spring 1979 series 4box 3folder 5item 13.0
28-1, Fall/Winter 1979 series 4box 3folder 5item 14.0
28-2, Spring 1980 series 4box 3folder 5item 15.0
32-2, Fall 1983 series 4box 3folder 5item 16.0

Series 5: Publications, 1950-1967 (4 items)

This series includes four items published by the Lyons Company, three of which are authored by Howard R. Lyon. Items are arranged chronologically by publication date.

DescriptionSeriesBox / ReelFolder / FrameItem
Publications, 1950-1967 series 5box 1folder 4
Lyons, Howard R. Recruiting the School Band and Orchestra: A Text Book on Organizing Bands and Orchestras. Revised 1950 Edition. Chicago: Lyons Band Instrument Co., 1950 series 5box 1folder 4item 1.0
Lyons, Howard R. Recruiting the School Band and Orchestra: A Text Book on Organizing Bands and Orchestras. Revised 1962 Edition. Chicago: Lyons Band Instrument Co., 1962 series 5box 1folder 4item 2.0
Modern Melody Fun for singing and playing with the Tonette. Chicago: Lyons Band Instrument Co., 1966 series 5box 1folder 4item 3.0
Lyons, Howard R. Recruiting the School Band and Orchestra: A Text Book on Organizing Bands and Orchestras. Revised 1967 Edition. Chicago: Lyons Band Instrument Co., 1967 series 5box 1folder 4item 4.0
Publications, 1950-1967 series 5box 1folder 4
Lyons, Howard R. Recruiting the School Band and Orchestra: A Text Book on Organizing Bands and Orchestras. Revised 1950 Edition. Chicago: Lyons Band Instrument Co., 1950 series 5box 1folder 4item 1.0
Lyons, Howard R. Recruiting the School Band and Orchestra: A Text Book on Organizing Bands and Orchestras. Revised 1962 Edition. Chicago: Lyons Band Instrument Co., 1962 series 5box 1folder 4item 2.0
Modern Melody Fun for singing and playing with the Tonette. Chicago: Lyons Band Instrument Co., 1966 series 5box 1folder 4item 3.0
Lyons, Howard R. Recruiting the School Band and Orchestra: A Text Book on Organizing Bands and Orchestras. Revised 1967 Edition. Chicago: Lyons Band Instrument Co., 1967 series 5box 1folder 4item 4.0

Series 6: Other Publications/Advertisements, 1955-1957 (8 items)

This series consists of eight items including a flyer, clippings, rhythm and pitch test, clarinet exercise, strings rental agreement distributed by Lyons Instrument Co, and a music grading card.

The box inventory for this series is not currently available online. Please refer to the series description above for a broad description of the materials or contact the department for more information.

Series 7: Photographs, Negatives, and Proofs, 1954-1965 and undated (34 items)

This series consists of photographs, negatives, and proofs of the Lyons Band Instrument Company as well as the Mid-West Clinic and Howard R. Lyons. Items are arranged chronologically by date.

DescriptionSeriesBox / ReelFolder / FrameItem
Photographs, Negatives, and Proofs, 1954-1965 and undated series 7box 1folder 5
Photograph of Lyons Band Instrument Co. repair department, circa 1950 series 7box 1folder 5item 1.0
Photograph of Howard R. Lyons, November 1954 series 7box 1folder 5item 2.0
Photograph of unidentified man, November 1954 series 7box 1folder 5item 3.0
Photograph of unidentified man, November 1954 series 7box 1folder 5item 4.0
Photograph of employees, July 1956 series 7box 1folder 5item 5.0
Photograph of Lyons Band Instrument Co. informational booth at NCMEA, April 1959 series 7box 1folder 5item 6.0
Photograph of Lyons Band Instrument Co. informational booth at NCMEA, April 1959 series 7box 1folder 5item 7.0
Photograph of Lyons Band Instrument Co. at NCMEA, April 1959 series 7box 1folder 5item 8.0
Photograph of Lyons informational booth, 1960 series 7box 1folder 5item 9.0
Photograph of Lyons informational booth, 1960 series 7box 1folder 5item 10.0
Photograph of Lyons informational booth, 1960 series 7box 1folder 5item 11.0
Photograph of Lyons Band Instrument Co. booth, October 1961 series 7box 1folder 5item 12.0
Photograph of Lyons informational booth, November 1961 series 7box 1folder 5item 13.0
Photograph of Lyons Band Instrument Co. informational booth at MENC in Chicago, 1962 series 7box 1folder 5item 14.0
Photograph of Lyons Band Instrument Co. informational booth at MENC in Chicago, 1962 series 7box 1folder 5item 15.0
Photograph of Lyons Band Instrument Co. booth at MENC in Chicago, 1962 series 7box 1folder 5item 16.0
Photograph of Lyons informational booth at MENC in Chicago, 1962 series 7box 1folder 5item 17.0
Photograph of Lyons Band Instrument Co. at MENC in Chicago, 1962 series 7box 1folder 5item 18.0
Photograph of informational booth, November 1962 series 7box 1folder 5item 19.0
Photograph of employees, undated series 7box 1folder 5item 20.0
Photograph of Lyons Band Instrument Co. repair department, undated series 7box 1folder 5item 21.0
Photograph of Lyons Band Instrument Co. sales force, undated series 7box 1folder 5item 22.0
Photograph of Howard R. Lyons and Clarence McCreery, undated series 7box 1folder 5item 23.0
Photograph of Howard R. Lyons, undated series 7box 1folder 5item 24.0
Photograph of Lyons Band Instrument Co. repair department, undated series 7box 1folder 5item 25.0
Photographs, Negatives, and Proofs, 1954-1965 and undated series 7box 1folder 6
Negatives of Midwest cocktail party, December 1951 series 7box 1folder 6item 1.0
Negatives of Midwest Clinic, December 1955 series 7box 1folder 6item 2.0
Negatives of Midwest Clinic party at Jerrys, December 1955 series 7box 1folder 6item 3.0
Negatives of Lyons booth, December 1957 series 7box 1folder 6item 4.0
Negatives of Midwest booth, December 1959 series 7box 1folder 6item 5.0
Negatives of Midwest Clinic taken by Arthur Fielder, December 1960 series 7box 1folder 6item 6.0
Negatives of Midwest Band Clinic, December 1963 series 7box 1folder 6item 7.0
Negatives of Howard at Midwest, December 1965 series 7box 1folder 6item 8.0
Proofs of various photographs from Folder 1, other assorted unidentified photographs, undated series 7box 1folder 6item 9.0

Series 8: Related Companies' Information, undated (null)

This series contains numerous catalogs, advertisements, and promotional materials from other instrument dealers, and publishers, which can be found in Box 1.

The box inventory for this series is not currently available online. Please refer to the series description above for a broad description of the materials or contact the department for more information.

Series 9: Recordings, 1952-1970 and undated (12 items)

This series includes twelve reel-to-reel tape recordings which can be found in Paged Collections and are arranged chronologically.

DescriptionSeriesBox / ReelFolder / FrameItem
Reel-to-Reel Recordings, 1952-1970 and undated series 9box 4folder 1
Meeting of Last Man Club, 1952 series 9box 4folder 1item 1.0
MWIBOC Howard Lyons pitching the Tonette and Melody Fun book, 1954 series 9box 4folder 1item 2.0
US Navy Band performance, 1955 series 9box 4folder 1item 3.0
Concert of High Grade Bands, January 1957 series 9box 4folder 1item 4.0
Symphonic Metamorphosis recorded at Artie Fields Studio, Detroit, May 1969 series 9box 4folder 1item 5.0
Symphonic Metamorphosis recorded at GM Studios, Detroit, December 1969 series 9box 4folder 1item 6.0
24th MWIBOC presentation of post-performance certificates by Howard Lyons, December 1970 series 9box 4folder 1item 7.0
Unidentified band performance, undated series 9box 4folder 1item 8.0
Unidentified band performance, undated series 9box 4folder 1item 9.0
Joliet Township High School performance of Battle Hymn of the Republic arr. for symphonic band and chorus, undated series 9box 4folder 1item 10.0
Twin tracks: first track is a Christmas album; other track is a meeting, undated series 9box 4folder 1item 11.0
Lyons New Years Party, undated series 9box 4folder 1item 12.0

Related Material

For other related archival and manuscript collections, please see the following subject guides.