September 28, 2005

Lucie Arnaz in Jamestown for Legacy of Laughter Seminar October 15th

An actress, singer, dancer, director, business executive, Broadway star, and Emmy Award-winning producer, Lucie Arnaz will be in Jamestown next month to moderate a seminar on the healing powers of humor.

In announcing the event, Ms. Arnaz noted, “As the children of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, and as president and vice president of the Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center in our mother's hometown of Jamestown, New York, my brother Desi and I have been searching for some time for a way to explore, extend and celebrate the global impact that our parents created through their television show, ‘I Love Lucy’. In our search, we have established several different ventures to teach and try to understand humor and the power it has always held to heal the human spirit.”

On October 15, the 54th anniversary of the first “I Love Lucy” broadcast, the Center will sponsor the first related event: “LOL” -- an evening of exploration and celebration of “The Legacy of Laughter.” Panelists for the seminar are:

Len Barry: The co-founder of Jamestown’s own improv comedy troupe, The Unexpected Guests, teaches comedy at a private high school in Erie, PA.

Brenda English: The mother of Sarah Spirlock, who lost her battle with juvenile diabetes last spring. Sarah and Brenda’s participation in Lucy-Desi Days in 2001 was made possible through the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Stan Lundine: Jamestown’s former mayor, Congressman, and New York State lieutenant governor is the executive director of the Chautauqua County Health Network.

David Mitchell: Now retired on disability, this former Jamestown police officer was critically wounded during a prearranged meeting with a drug informant.

Mary Rapaport: Breast cancer survivor who turned to "I Love Lucy" during her recovery process.

Future “LOL” seminars will be held in Jamestown, Los Angeles, and New York City. The inaugural event will be at 8 p.m. on Saturday, October 15 in the Tropicana Room of the Rapaport Center, 2 W. 3rd Street, Jamestown and will include a brief performance by The Unexpected Guests. A reception will follow. Tickets are $20 and go on sale today, Wednesday, September 28. There is very limited seating for this event. Order tickets online at the Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center.

For more information, call or visit the Lucy-Desi Gift Shop, 300 N. Main Street, Jamestown, NY 14701; (716) 484-0800 (toll-free: 1-877-LUCY-FAN), ext. 203; or online at Hours for the Lucy-Desi Museum at 212 Pine, the Desilu Playhouse at 2 W. 3rd Street, and the Lucy-Desi Center Gift Shop are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1-5 p.m. on Sundays.

September 23, 2005

Passionate Collector – International Movie Posters

Kyle Hall collects "The Long, Long Trailer" movie posters from all over the world.

When Kyle Hall was 10 years old, he saw the MGM movie, The Long, Long Trailer, starring Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. Now, 31 years later, Hall collects The Long, Long Trailer movie posters from around the world. "The posters are big, colorful and cheerful, and they're a major part of my d├ęcor," says Hall. "People flip when they see them, and they're fascinated by how the foreign posters are different from the American originals."

Hall began collecting movie posters in 1999, when he was living in New York. He had a new apartment with empty walls, so he visited a shop that sold original posters for films, foreign travel, and advertising. The store displayed its inventory in notebooks that held snapshots of all the posters by category, and one of those notebooks contained a large 47" x 63" French poster for The Long, Long Trailer. Hall thought it was colorful and beautiful, but he just admired the snapshot for a minute and kept looking; he had something different in mind for his apartment. After returning home empty-handed, Hall couldn't stop thinking about the poster for the next week-and-a-half. Finally, he asked the shop to hold it for him until he could return and view it. Once he saw the actual poster, Hall knew he had to have it. The salesmen in the poster shop, who apparently had business acumen, said, "Fan of that movie, huh? Why aren't you interested in the Italian poster, too?" And that's how it all began.

Hall's collection now includes the U.S. poster for The Long, Long Trailer in three different sizes, as well as posters for the movie from England, France, Italy, Belgium, Finland, Australia, Sweden and Argentina. "Because Lucy was popular worldwide, the movie was also a hit in all the foreign markets, and most of those created their own poster designs," says Hall. "People flip when they see the posters, and they're fascinated by how the foreign posters differ from the American originals."

Souvenir programs, still photos, on-set candids, magazine articles, advertising, and a script from The Long, Long Trailer are other highlights of Hall's collection. He estimates that 95 percent of his collection has been purchased through eBay. "I discovered eBay in 1998, and I have been on the site almost every day since," says Hall. "A collection like mine would have been almost impossible to build without eBay, because most of my foreign posters have come from foreign sellers. It's hard to imagine how I could ever have contacted these people otherwise."

One of Hall's most prized collectible is a set design sketch for The Long, Long Trailer from the MGM art department. In the summer of 1953, an army unit took a tour of the MGM soundstage where the film was being shot. The sketch had been discarded, and a soldier picked it up as a souvenir. He kept it for 51 years, then his wife listed it on eBay, and Hall won the auction. He wrote the seller to see if she had any similar sketches, or anything else related to the movie, and she replied by telling Hall how, while they were stationed in California all those years ago, her husband brought home the sketch as a souvenir of his tour of MGM. "Not many papers like that were saved by the studios," says Hall. "This one probably only survived because the soldier picked it up off the floor. It's a great story, and a great item."

Of the posters, Hall's favorite is the Italian The Long, Long Trailer poster. "It's got a fantastic design that features a cityscape with skyscrapers, a scene that was inspired by a sequence in the movie, but it is much more elaborate on the poster," says Hall. "It feels special because it was the second poster I purchased -- which means it really set off my collection -- and also because it is one of my only posters purchased in a gallery that I haven't seen on eBay, ever, so that makes it a real rarity. The Belgian poster is another favorite. I haven't seen it on eBay again since I won it four years ago."

The most expensive item in Hall's collection is the French poster, the one he purchased in the Chelsea shop that started it all. "The identical poster has turned up three times on eBay in the past six years. The winning bids seem like a bargain compared to what I paid! But if I hadn't made that original purchase, I wouldn't be collecting these foreign posters at all, so I try not to think about the money. You can find a great breadth of items on eBay that are obtainable at a bargain price, even if they are rare or obscure."

For interviews, high resolution images, or more information, please contact Professional Marketing at (616) 949-9104 or

September 22, 2005

Another reairing of PBS Masters, Finding Lucy, this Sunday!

For those poor souls who just found out about the airing of the PBS Documentary on Lucille Ball last night at 9pm - you are in luck! It seems that they will also be reairing the documentary this coming Sunday at 12:30pm EST. So if you missed it last night, be sure to catch it this Sunday!

This documentary originally aired in 2000 and is a great portrait of her career with lots of clips and interviews. Some really great candid shots of Lucy are shown and shows us in retrospect that she had always been perfect for situation comedy.

The interviews featured Carol Burnett, Fran Drescher, Dick Martin, Van Johnson, among many others. It also showcases the most extensive set of film and television clips from her career in movies and radio through television.

Check your local PBS Station for airing times. Be sure not to miss this one!

September 21, 2005

PBS airs its American Masters biography on Lucy tonight!

PBS repeats its American Masters biography of Lucille Ball, Finding Lucy (9 p.m. ET/PT, times may vary). Now if only TV could find the next I Love Lucy, though that may be too much to ask.

You can find your local PBS station broadcast of "Finding Lucy" on their web site.

I'll be taping it!

September 20, 2005

New Hosting Provider for Everything Lucy!

The "Everything Lucy" web site, which is part of has been moved to a new hosting provider this past Friday evening.

We took this step to move the web site from operating out of my house to a true host for a number of reasons. One of course would be the realiablity of the web site, not to mention proper backups. Secondly, you should notice a performance increase in the speed since it is now not going out over my home's DSL connection. Thirdly, the cost savings of not having to run a server and the technical knowledge, which I lack, is a great stress relief!

You may notice some broken links and some things don't seem to work just right. I noticed that some of the Video Clips, when linked to other clips in a SMIL file, do not work. I also was notified that some of the MP3s of the My Favorite Husband radio show do not work. I will get to these as soon as I can in order to resolve these issues. If there is anything that you find that you believe is incorrect or needs fixed, please bring it to my attention!

I've made some minor changes to the structure of the site, but it's probably not something anyone would notice. More updates will be applied as soon as all the issues have been worked out from this move.

Future enhancements include turning all the video clips into Flash Video, which is supported by 98% of the browsers. I'll be removing all the Realvideo clips eventually as they are replaced with their Flash counterparts. I will also be adding a true eCommerce Shopping Cart to the Members Only section of the web site. And talking about the Members Only section, I will be adding the login to this section shortly so you can begin to take advantage of being a member of "Everything Lucy".

Thanks for your continued patronage and again, please let me know if anything seems amiss with this new web site move!

September 14, 2005

DVD Documentary Shows Stars of 50s-60s TV Commercials

The DVD documentary "Madison Avenue Fever" (60 minutes) is an entertaining and informative look at the birth and development of television commercials in the 50's and 60's, the period known as the "golden age of television."

This documentary by R.J. Thomas features clips of some of the funniest, corniest, entertaining, and memorable commercials ever made. Television commercials from the 50's and 60's bring back wonderful memories for baby boomers.

Stars like Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, Dick Van Dyke, and sports heroes like the Red Sox legend Ted Williams are all seen promoting their favorite brands in "Madison Avenue Fever."

Television was regarded as a new-found wonder box that consumers were buying by the millions, and advertisers were anxious to capture their share of the growing audience. Television advertising had a major influence on the baby boomer generation, and had a powerful influence on the nation.

"Madison Avenue Fever" is more than just entertainment through fond memories, Thomas explains the historic aspects of the new media outlet that caused panic in the radio industry as advertisers turned to television.

Remember the Ajax knight on horseback, the happy kid who learns he has no cavities after brushing with Crest, and so many other commercials that have become a part of American heritage and imbedded in the memories of baby boomers?

The clips feature many stars of the time, including Howdy Doody, Phil Silvers, Ozzie Nelson, Don Knotts as Barney Fife, Groucho Marx and his brothers Chico and Harpo, the Monkees, Clayton Moore as the Lone Ranger, and even Bugs Bunny and the Flintstones.

Those were the days when tobacco companies were some of the most prominent advertisers on television, and all the top stars and sports celebrities of the time were seen promoting their favorite brands.

“‘The Flintstones’ began as an adult show on prime time television. Of course the Flintstones eventually switched to vitamins, but in 1962 Fred and Barney were shown puffing on Winstons,” explained Thomas.

Thomas takes viewers on an entertaining, educational, and historic journey through the land of television advertising of yesteryear. He shows how advertisers tempted viewers with everything from cigarettes, sporty cars for men, miracle appliances for women, and all the latest toys for the kids.

The DVD is available at

September 06, 2005

Lucille Ball - Desi Arnaz FBI Files

As noted in an earlier post, the Lucille Ball- Desi Arnaz FBI Files are also available on CD-Rom from the Paperless Archives.

142 pages of files copied from FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C., and archived on CD-ROM covering Lucille Ball. Files contain approximately 50 narrative pages. Compilation of the information in this file began after a 1953 House Committee on Un-American Activities hearing revealed that Miss Ball had registered to vote as a communist in 1936 at the insistence of her grandfather. Files chiefly cover the bureau seeking the level of involvement of Ball in Communist activity.

Also on the CD are 206 pages covering Desi Arnaz. Files contains approximately 115 narrative pages. Files are chiefly concerned with Desilu Productions' programing portraying the FBI, especially the TV show "The Untouchables." Files document the FBI being perturbed with Arnaz and his production company concerning the the TV show "The Untouchable." J. Edgar Hoover was able to get Arnaz to agree to not "invade FBI cases" again, such as the 25 year old "Ma" Barker case. Files show FBI concerns that the show would detract from the Warner Brothers motion picture, "The FBI Story," whose production had the cooperation of the bureau. Files show Hoover ordered the FBI's Crime Research Section to monitor every episode of "The Untouchables."

Order your CD-Rom from the Paperless Archives. 25% off all orders of $100 or more ends today, September 6, 2005!