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EARLY ON
   Desi Arnaz first started his 'rhumba band' when he arrived in America at a very young age. He became very attracted the the musical rhythms of his nationality and decided to work in the nightclub business. When he began a partial partnership with fellow bandleader Xavier Cugat, Cugat promised Desi that he would send him a few band members.
     Instead of experienced Spanish musicians, Desi received band members, which were each of a different background. Not one of them knew any Latin songs, so Desi had to teach them. They didn't get along very well in the beginning, however, Desi would soon develop his actual
rhumba band later onů

TOURING FAR AWAY FROM LUCILLE
     Desi's band toured and played in various, popular nightclubs, a great deal of them being in New York.
Meanwhile, Lucille Ball was in California, playing roles in 'B' pictures in order to make a living. On the other hand, Desi practically made a living by entertaining his audience with such popular numbers as 'Babalu.' Desi's new band was very successful and quite popular.

I LOVE LUCY AND THE ORCHESTRA
     When the "I Love Lucy" show began production, the Desi Arnaz Orchestra gradually fell apart in the sense that Desi Arnaz was tied up with his new position in the industry of television. However, a majority of the band remained on tour while Desi was working in Hollywood.
     Desi's complete and initial band was not on the set of "I Love Lucy". Within the band on the set (The "Ricky Ricardo" Orchestra) there were actors and various musicians. This studio band entertained the audience between scenes. From the band members above, only Pepin Betancourt and Alberto Calderon were in this "I Love Lucy" show band.

WILBUR HATCH
The Desi Arnaz Orchestra on the show (which was the Ricky Ricardo orchestra at both 'The Tropicana Nightclub' and 'Club Babalu') was conducted by Wilbur Hatch, unless Desi was actually on the set conducting for a filming of an episode.

THE INFAMOUS BUS CRASH
What is the infamous bus crash? One day when Desi decided to spend some time with Lucy in Hollywood, his tour bus got in a serious accident. The 'famous' bus crash happened when Desi was coincidentally in Hollywood. The man who sat in Desi's original seat lost his eye in the dangerous crash.


AFTER I LOVE LUCY
     The musicians from Desi's original band moved on and played with other bands. Some of the band members continued with Desilu Productions and had parts as extras in many Desilu shows, such as "The Untouchables", "Hill Street Blues" and "The Andy Griffith Show".

THE DESI ARNAZ ORCHESTRA
BAND MEMBERS

FRONT ROW (LEFT TO RIGHT)
Tito Rivera (on conga), Alberto Calderon (looking at Desi), Joe Carioca (on Brazilian Cabasa), Pepin Betancourt (on maracas), Marco Rizo (left of guitar)

SECOND ROW (LEFT TO RIGHT)
(to Desi's left) Ralph Brady, (to Desi's right) Joe Miller, (the lady is the harpist)

BACK ROW (LEFT TO RIGHT)
(to Desi's right) Tony Taran, (right of Tony) Felipe Cubinar (on trumpet)

CREDITS
The Tropicana Nightclub would like to thank KIT for a lot of detailed information regarding The Desi Arnaz Orchestra.
KIT is Pepin Betancourt's son.
RIGHT Pepin Betancourt