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Desi Arnaz

To most of the public, Desi Arnaz is known as the lovable, temperamental Ricky Ricardo, husband of Lucille Ball in the 1950s (in real life and on screen) on one of the most successful television series of all time, I Love Lucy. Within the industry, he's known as one of the forces behind Desilu Productions. Yet before he became an international star, he was known primarily as a musician, not an actor or executive. It was Arnaz who may have done more to popularize the conga in the United States than any other figure, leading an orchestra that mixed Latin-Cuban music with big-band pop, and putting it over to the masses with his irresistibly good-natured, melodramatic vocals. He's attracted far less critical acclaim than more ambitious Latin-American hybrids like Machito, the Dizzy Gillespie Orchestra of the late '40s, or his one-time mentor Xavier Cugat, but his recordings contain a surprising amount of shake-em-loose verve.

Born in Santiago, Cuba, Arnaz moved to Miami in his teens, and began to work as a conga player, singer, and guitarist. For six months, he apprenticed with Xavier Cugat's orchestra, and then split to form a band of his own. He made his first sides as a bandleader around 1940 with his La Congra Orchestra, and his New York shows created enough of a buzz to get him a stage role in a musical by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart, Too Many Girls, in 1939. He repeated his Too Many Girls role on screen, leading to a Hollywood career and his marriage to comedienne Lucille Ball.

After serving in the Army during World War II, Arnaz focused on music for the rest of the 1940s, cutting quite a few infectious sides for Victor between 1946 and 1949. Certainly some of his accented routines could be corny, but he and his orchestra could also whip up a storm on tracks like "Babalu" and "El Cumbanchero," achieving his avowed goal of combining the rhythm of Machito with the melody of Andre Kostelanetz. After recording his last session for Victor in 1949, Arnaz refocused his attention on Hollywood, putting his musical career on permanent back burner after becoming one of television's first superstars with I Love Lucy. ~ Richie Unterberger, Rovi
full bio

Comments

And we have the same name. So. I have a boy name I believe (;
Holy Crap. I'm only 15, and I think I am inlove with this man. I love 'I Love Lucy'!!!!! And did he just say 'Ricky Dicky'? o-0
1. Kiss your left hand
2.say your crushes name
3.say your name
4.pick a school day
5.Post this on 15 other songs and your crush will ask you out the day you picked
Happy birthday Desi Arnaz
Janis joplin
There will never b another:jani s jiplin sid vicious tuoac or biggie or.Jerry Garcia
Damn he was cute for back then.
@Hannah That's nor her nor there he was a great talent, who he was in his personal life is between Lucy and him. Elvis Presley was also a psychologica l l y troubled person but that doesn't take away from the music and legend.
But he was VERY talented and is VERY dead. And so is Lucy... :'(
I see what you're saying @Hannah.
I don't know if any of you have researched him, yes he was talented but he was a dick. he cheated on his wife constantly, had anger issues and was an alcoholic.
sergiomona72
Hey lucy I'm home
sergiomona72
Great
tyler53504
Happy birthday Desi Arnaz
From a lost era of class mixed with cool. Now all we have are self absorbed self important people who want to be reality stars. They will never compare with people like Desi.
Desi was a guest host on SNL years ago...and was appalled at their amateurish production skills.
gjsterle
Hey, no need to be nostalgic - the Cubans are still a great people!
Desi Arnaz was an incredibly versatile talented man.A good kind man.reminds me of my father like those cubans of yesteryear gone for ever.What a shame. those of you who are Cuban know what i am talking about.
weaverb65
Desi ROCKS! enough said.
I love Desi. His music can still make one get up and dance.
i love lucy 2
He a great conga player just like Titto p.OLD LATIN MUSIC TRAVEL THREW UR BLOOD.
chace65381
Still to this very day, There will never be another Lucy or Desi Arnaz, Mohammed Ali , Michael Jackson, Marilyn Monroe, Jimmy Carter, Frank Sinatra, Abraham Lincoln, Babe Ruth, People that love and believe in what is Right, and what they do. Todays, Musicians and Actors, Politicians are not as dedicated to this Country as the people who paved the way for them. Look at Christmas its not the same anymore. This Country once had Leaders now they have followers We once stood on solid grounds. No
topten
I've watched several seasons of I Love Lucy, and I must say that I really like Desi Arnaz!

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