March 01, 2006

Remembering the Mayor of Kildoonan

Larry Orenstein (pictured here to the left of Uan Rasey, who played the Mayor of Kildoonan in the I Love Lucy episode, Lucy Goes to Scotland has passed away. Larry also wrote the episode's songs, which include "A McGillicuddy Is Here," "I'm in Love With a Dragon's Dinner," "Two Heads Are Better Than One," "'Tis Nae a Braw Bricht Nicht," and "Dragon Waltz."

Larry was a guest during the summer of 2004's Jamestown Lucille Ball Birthday Celebration. He traveled with his close friend and I Love Lucy scriptwriter, Bob Schiller to take part in the festival weekend.

Born Lawrence Neill Orenstein on Aug. 30, 1918, in St. Paul, MN, he played the the bugle before getting his first trumpet at age 11 and is best known for his Jazz music.

As a kid, Orenstein listened to recordings made by Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra, Cab Calloway, and his trumpet idols, Louis Armstrong and Bix Beiderbecke. These records became his "teachers."

Orenstein and his family moved to Los Angeles in the mid-1930's where attended UCLA, and where he acted in plays and built on his natural vocal talents by studying voice with Robert Hurd.

After graduating from UCLA, Orenstein joined the Shep Fields band in August 1940, as trumpeter/vocalist. Coming up with something fresh is exactly what Orenstein has done time and time again throughout his career in both the music and business arenas. In addition to being a veteran musician of the big bands, he has written lyrics for motion pictures, radio and television, most notably putting words to The General Jumped At Dawn, a Jimmy Mundy composition that made its way into the 1944 film, Hollywood Canteen. He's written musicals, worked as an actor appearing on I Love Lucy, performed on Broadway and ran a successful advertising agency.

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