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Born in Hawaii, Lyman originally was the vibes player with 4 mallets in Martin Denny's 1950's exotica combo that played Honolulu's Halekulani Hotel. After their chart topping sucess on "Quiet Village", Lyman soon branched out on his own and became a musical star in his own right. He was a vital part of the tropical tiki trend, with his signature mellow marimba and echoing bird calls. His biggest easy listening hit was "Yellow Bird" which topped the charts in 1961, while his 1958 debut album Taboo sold 2 million copies.