‘I Love Lucy’: Lucie Arnaz Listening to Desi’s Old Band Recordings Prompted a Major Life Change

by Keeli Parkey

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Lucie Arnaz, the daughter of “I Love Lucy” stars Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, decided that being an entertainer was the career for her. However, even though she has appeared on television many times, it is not her preferred way to perform.

For her preferred performance medium, Lucie followed more in her father’s famous footsteps than her mother’s. She talked about this during a 2013 interview with Smashing Interviews Magazine. Turns out it was her father’s work that pushed her in a certain direction.

As fans know, Lucie Arnaz appeared on television with her famous mother many times. Eventually, she began working in the theatre more and more frequently. However, during the 1980s it was difficult for her – and many others – to break onto the Broadway stage.

“We went through a period in the 80s when the Broadway thing kind of calmed down and I would joke that you had to have whiskers or skates to get a Broadway show because the only shows that were lasting were “Starlight Express” and “Cats,” the daughter of the “I Love Lucy” legends said.

Lucie Arnaz Discovered Audio Recordings Of Her Famous “I Love Lucy” Star Father During The 1980s

With her theatre prospects at a low, Lucie Arnaz decided California was the place for her to find roles.

“I went back out to Los Angeles and did a little television work, but what really happened when I was there was that I put together a nightclub act, and it was like it was just meant to be,” Lucie said in 2013.

Singing and performing in the nightclub scene was a perfect fit for her.

“It was like it was just waiting for me all this time like, ‘Oh you finally got here! Well geez, it took you long enough!'” Lucie explained. “It’s just where I love to be. I love to be on stage in front of a big band doing great arrangements.”

While she was navigating her work on television with her desire to work on stage, Lucie Arnaz came across something that made her realize where her “heart” is during the late 1980s.

What was it? Well, what she found recordings that her famous father made during the 1930s and the 1940s before he became famous for playing Ricky Ricardo on “I Love Lucy.”

“My father died in 1986, and this happened to me in 1988. It’s an interesting thing because he died, and I started listening to the CDs that his band recorded back in the 30s and 40s,” Lucie said. “In those days, they were cassettes.”

What she heard on those tapes led Lucie Arnaz to an important realization.

“It inspired me to want to go and do that, so I just switched gears a little bit,” she said. “I went back to Broadway every once in a while for a small period of time, but basically, my heart was in concerts, and that’s where I’ve been ever since.”