He originally wanted to be an attorney but quit school to play music in his teens. Beginning in 1927, he led ensembles that were paid to play at the houses of wealthy socialites in Philadelphia and New York, continuing after the 1929 stock market crash. In 1930, Lanin was hired to play at a gala for Barbara Hutton, and the event garnered so much press in New York newspapers that it made Lanin a star as well as the young heiress. Lanin became a major star of the dance music world, and was hired worldwide to play for kings and queens, in addition to a recurring invitation to play at White House inaugural balls from the Eisenhower administration to the Carter administration. Famous for long, smooth medleys, Lanin's popularity increased upon the advent of the LP era. Starting with Epic Records in the middle of the 1950s, he recorded a string of albums for several labels, many of which hit the US Billboard 200.
He continued performing well into the 1990s, and died at age 97 in 2004. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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