Elliot Lawrence

Elliot Lawrence is an American jazz pianist and bandleader.

Son of the broadcaster Stan Lee Broza, Lawrence led his first dance band at age 20, but he played swing at the time its heyday was coming to a close. He recorded copiously as a bandleader for Columbia, Decca, King, Fantasy, Vik, and SESAC between 1946 and 1960. Lawrence is currently music director for the Tony awards show.

Elliot Lawrence was born Elliot Lawrence Broza on February 14, 1925 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His parents, Stan Lee Broza and Esther Broza were radio and television pioneers. In 1927 they created and produced the Horn and Hardart Children’s Hour, which ran on WCAU radio from 1927–1958 and concurrently on television from 1948–1958. Stan Lee Broza was also the first president of the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia from 1962-1963. Stan Lee was the host of the Children’ Hour and Esther produced it. Childhood stars that appeared on the show include Eddie Fisher, Frankie Avalon, Joey Bishop, Bernadette Peters and best selling author Jacqueline Susann. The idea for The Children’s Hour was originally born by Stan Lee when a new shopping mall in Philadelphia was looking to sponsor a show on the radio. He came up with the idea to create a variety show in which talented children would sing and perform. While looking for sponsors, one of Stan Lees’ first customers was William Paley, who bought advertising time on WCAU for his fathers cigar shop. William Paley went on to become the chairman of CBS. Stan Lee Broza and Esther Broza were pioneers of broadcasting and of the variety show. Both are in the Philadelphia Broadcasters Hall of Fame.

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