Howard Lanin

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Howard Lanin was the third most prominent sibling in a family of musical figures. His brothers Sam and Lester were the two most well known of the brothers in different eras, and different strata of the…
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Howard Lanin was the third most prominent sibling in a family of musical figures. His brothers Sam and Lester were the two most well known of the brothers in different eras, and different strata of the music business, Sam as a major bandleader and director of the 1920s and early '30s, responsible for a massive number of recordings and broadcasts, and Lester as the famed dance-band leader from the 1930s through the 1990s. Howard was born in Philadelphia, PA, in 1898 to an immigrant Russian Jewish family whose members (including father and grandfather) were all seemingly brimming over with musical ability -- and by 1909 had entered music professionally, as a drummer in the orchestra at the Crystal Palace movie theater. He organized his first dance band of his own at 17 and spent the next 72 years leading bands. Although he played prominent venues in New York and other East Coast cities as far south as Florida, he remained based in Philadelphia for most of his career, unlike his brothers Sam and Lester, who moved their bases of operation to New York City very early on. He recorded with various groups of his own, including the Benjamin Franklin Hotel Orchestra -- for which his brother Sam seems to have substituted for him as leader, uncredited -- and played dances, industrial shows, and conventions for decades. He passed away in 1991 at age 93.