Lanson circa 1940s
March 27, 1914
|Died||July 2, 1990
New York City
Born in Memphis, Tennessee, Lanson was a band singer with Francis Craig's dance band before joining Hit Parade from 1950 through 1957, chosen to replace Frank Sinatra. Floor manager Fred Rogers said that Lanson often played craps behind the set with the stage hands until it was his turn to perform.
After Hit Parade ended, he performed in nightclubs and on local television shows in Atlanta and Shreveport. He guest-starred in 1958 on The Gisele MacKenzie Show, MacKenzie having been a co-star with Lanson on Hit Parade. In 1961, he was one of five rotating hosts on the NBC-TV program Five Star Jubilee.
In January 1960, Crossroads TV Productions videotaped a pilot in Springfield, Missouri for a proposed pop music-variety series called Snooky Lanson Time. Guests were Brenda Lee, the Anita Kerr Singers, Betty Ann Grove and Paul Mitchell's instrumental combo. From 1967 on he lived in Nashville, where he sang at tea dances and similar functions, had a syndicated radio show that played Big Band music, and sold cars and outdoor advertising. 
- "Plan New TV Series for Lanson" (January 25, 1960), The Billboard, p. 12
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