September 23, 2007

This Day Almost 30 Years Ago

Today, September 23rd in 1968 was the airing of Lucille Ball's last well-known series, Here's Lucy! As Lucille Carter, she was mom to her real life son Desi Arnaz, Jr., who played Craig and her daughter Lucie Arnaz, who played Kim. Lucy found it a wonderful way to work and have a personal relationship with her children.

The show ended in 1974 and she wouldn't appear back in a regular TV series again until 1986 for her last TV series that was too short-lived.

September 18, 2007

More on Lucille Ball's Jewely Auction

More information from our earlier post on Christie's auction house Magnificent Jewels sale of Lucille Ball's jewelry that will benefit the Lucy-Desi Center.

Ten lots of jewelry that belonged to The Queen of Comedy will be included in the October 16 event at New York’s Rockefeller Center. Featured pieces will be a tiger’s eye and gold wristwatch, an onyx, emerald and diamond pendant necklace, a 46.92 carats cabochon star sapphire and diamond ring, a diamond and gold evening bag that Lucy used on her White House visit in 1986, a Cartier diamond and gold "tonneau" wristwatch, and a sodalite, diamond and gold pendant necklace by Van Cleef and Arpels.

A portion of the sales will benefit the Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center in Lucy’s hometown, Jamestown, New York.

With sales in 2006 of $4.67 billion, Christie’s offers over 600 sales annually in more than 80 categories, including all areas of fine and decorative arts, jewelry, photographs, collectibles, wine and more. Christie’s "Magnificent Jewels" sale on October 16 will present more than 300 lots of extraordinary jewels expected to realize in the region of $25 million.

Images and descriptions of the lots offered in this sale are presented in Christie’s Magnificent Jewels catalog which is available online. A link to the online catalog is also available on the Lucy-Desi Center’s home page. A free public exhibition of the sale will take place at Christie's famed Rockefeller Center galleries October 11-15.

September 14, 2007

L.A. Streets to Honor Lucille Ball and Larry King

In recognition of Larry King's 50 years in the broadcasting industry, the Los Angeles City Council agreed Wednesday to rename the area surrounding the CNN building in Hollywood after the longtime interviewer.

The area from Sunset Boulevard to DeLongpre Avenue and Cahuenga Boulevard to Cole Place will now be known as "Larry King Square."

King started his broadcasting career in 1957 at a Miami radio station.

"Larry King Live" premiered on CNN in June 1985 and is the network's longest-running interview program.

The late comedian Lucille Ball and the owner of Lucy's El Adobe Cafe will be also be recognized for their contributions to Hollywood with the renaming of an intersection to "I Love Lucy Square," the Los Angeles City Council voted Wednesday.

Ball and Lucy Casada will share the honor at the intersection of Melrose Avenue and Plymouth Boulevard near Paramount Studios. It was there, in 1951, that Ball and her husband, Desi Arnaz, started Desilu Productions.

Lucy's El Adobe Cafe is a popular campaign stop for local and national politicians, and is known as the restaurant where former California Gov. Jerry Brown first met singer Linda Ronstadt in the 1970s.

September 13, 2007

The Lucy Show Bonus DVD

As just reported on TV Shows on DVD and Tom Watson of Lucy Fan Magazine, The Lucy Show DVD will appear as a Bonus disc in the upcoming Untouchables DVD Release of Season 1, Volume 2. This DVD Release is scheduled for September 25th.

CBS/Paramount is including a 1965-66 (color) episode of "The Lucy Show" entitled "Lucy the Gun Moll". This episode featured Robert Stack as a special guest along with Bruce Gordon and Steve London who happened to be regulars on The Untouchables.

According to Tom Watson, "To my knowledge, this is the first time "Lucy, the Gun Moll" has been released on home video -- and is CBS/Paramount's first experiment with releasing "The Lucy Show" on DVD. I encourage you to support the effort by adding this set to your collection."

September 09, 2007

Christie's to Auction Jewels of Lucille Ball

Christie's auction house will present the Jewels of the estate of Lucille Ball on October 16 at Rockefeller Center in New York City as part of their Magnificent Fall Jewels Sale.

The sale includes property from the estate of actress Lucille Ball. The collection of 10 pieces features a number of signed jewelry by Van Cleef & Arpels, including a suite of yellow sapphire and diamond jewelry that comprises a pendant necklace, a pair of ear clips and ring en suite (estimate: $25,000-$35,000.) A portion of the proceeds from this collection will benefit The Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center in Jamestown, New York.

There will be a preview for the auction on October 11-15. For more information on the auction, read the story at Rapaport News.

September 07, 2007

I Love Lucy Makes TIME's Top 100

17 Shows that changed TV from Time Magazine's James Poiniewozik lists "I Love Lucy" as top of that list!
The sitcom that by now is almost a synonym for classic got that way by doing all the things that everyone at the time knew you weren't supposed to do. You couldn't have a female star who was both attractive and funny. You couldn't have her male lead be an urban Latino whose Cuban accent was thicker than a platter of ropa vieja. You couldn't build a story line around a (gasp!) pregnancy. Lucille Ball's contributions to TV's past are so obvious--Vitameatavegamin, the Tropicana Club, the slapstick routines--that it's better to note what this show says about today's future: sometimes the greatest sign of a future classic TV show is that it doesn't look like classic TV.

The other shows that made the top 17 are; The Ernie Kovacs Show, The Super Bowl, Seasame Street, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, MASH, An American Family, Hill Street Blues, MTV, The Cosby Show, The Simpons, Twin Peaks, Beavis and Butt-Head, The Sopranos, Survivor, 24, and Lost.

Check out the rest of Time's Top 100.

Personally I think they should add "The Lucy Show" as well as "The Carol Burnett Show", "Lost in Space" and "Rosanne" but then I don't compile the list!

The Musical Side of Desi Arnaz

From, written by Big Geez for Retro Redux.

Before Desi Arnaz was known as Lucy's Babalu king of "I Love Lucy" he was a musical talent all his own.

By the late 1930's, Latin music had been a part of jazz for years, with bandleaders such as Xavier Cugat and others enjoying a lot of success based on America's fascination with the intoxicating music. And it was Cugat himself - who was Spanish but always had an eye for any Latin talent - who discovered a young Cuban musician named Desiderio Alberto Arnaz y de Acha III.

Desi Arnaz could play the conga and the guitar, and he could sing with a lot of enthusiasm. It didn't take long for the teenager to become a popular soloist in Cugat's band, but in less than a year he split from his mentor and formed his own group. It must have seemed like a gutsy move for someone so young, but the gamble paid off as his star began to rise in the New York club scene. Audiences loved his lively, energetic musical style, and his popularity soon led to a part in a Broadway musical.

It was about then that his life took a significant turn, because that musical, Too Many Girls, was turned into a movie in 1940, and his co-star was an actress named Lucille Ball. They became a couple, and over 20 years of marriage became not only TV superstars, but also the founders of a production company that was one of the most influential - and profitable - ever.

But Desi the musician is our subject today, and even after his marriage to Lucy he continued to pursue that facet of his career. Although his musical progress was interrupted by his service in World War II, he continued in the post-war years to perform and record a number of Latin tunes, and was an important contributor to the continuing success of Latin music.

His best-known is probably "Babalu," which was also the theme song of the fictional bandleader Ricky Ricardo, and Desi's energetic drum-work and singing are certainly on display with that tune. But Latin jazz lovers might prefer "El Cumbanchero," because it was on this song that Desi felt he'd achieved his goal — to merge the energetic rhythm style of Latin percussionist Machito with the softer, melodic approach of bandleaders such as Andre Kostelanetz.

Of course, Desi eventually focused on TV, movies, and the couple's production company, Desilu, but he always loved his music. As the years passed, he and Lucy grew apart and split in 1960, but until his death in 1986 they remained close, and it's said that they talked on the phone every day. Their names will always be attached to each other and to their historic TV show, but Desi should also be remembered as an influential Latin musician.

September 02, 2007

Lucie Arnaz to Perform at Buffalo Philharmonic

The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra will be featuring conductor Marvin Hamlisch with comedian Robert Klein and Lucie Arnaz for a very special reunion of musical moments from the Broadway hit, They’re Playing Our Song on April 19, 2008.

Marvin Hamlisch has won virtually every major award that exists: three Oscars, four Grammys, four Emmys, a Tony and three Golden Globe awards; his groundbreaking show, A Chorus Line, received the Pulitzer Prize.

Robert Klein has been a regular guest on “The Tonight Show” for over twenty years, and has guest-hosted the show on numerous occasions. He also appears regularly on “Late Show with David Letterman” and “Late Night with Conan O’Brien.”

Growing up in the public eye with parents Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz and brother Desi Arnaz, IV, Lucie Arnaz has cemented her own footprints in history as an actress, singer, dancer, business executive, producer, director, and Broadway star. Despite all her movie credits, Lucie's real passion lies in live theatre. Lucie's amazing talent shines through when it comes to Broadway and the theatre.

For more information and to order tickets visit the Buffalo Philharmonic website.