The famous “I Love Lucy” theme song was written by composer Eliot Daniel (1908–1997) as a personal favor for producer Jess Oppenheimer. Daniel was not credited for the music because he was at the time under an exclusive contract to Twentieth-Century Fox Film Corporation. The lyric, by Harold Adamson (1906–1980), was sung on the show only once, in Episode No. 60, “Lucy’s Last Birthday.” The original copyright registration deposit copies of the song are included in the Music Division’s holdings.
The band members who supplied the incidental music for the show and who were featured in the scenes from the Tropicana nightclub (and later the Club Babalu) were real-life members of the Desi Arnaz Orchestra, and the featured pianist (and sometime arranger) was Arnaz’s longtime friend and colleague, Juilliard-trained Marco Rizo (1920–1998). Preserved at the Library of Congress as part of the Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz Collection are the original orchestral scores and parts used by the Arnaz Orchestra from the 1940s until the 1960s. Among these are many of Arnaz’s signature pieces, including his iconic “Babalu.”
Desi Arnaz, composer. John Frederick Pickering, arranger. “Babalu,” 1940s. Manuscript drum part. Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress (020.00.00). [Digital ID # lucy0020]. All scrapbooks donated by Lucie Arnaz. Rights to the images in the photographs and scrapbook items in this collection are the sole property of Lucie Arnaz and Desi Arnaz, Jr./Desilu, too, LLC
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“I Love Lucy,” Theme Song
Eliot Daniel, composer. Harold Adamson, lyricist. “I Love Lucy.” Sheet Music. New York: Miller Music, 1953. Music Division, Library of Congress (018.00.00). [Digital ID # lucy0018]. Courtesy of MPL Music Publishing and the ASCAP Foundation
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