Desi Arnaz

Cocktail Hour

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The Desi Arnaz entry in Columbia River's Cocktail Hour series presents 28 selected examples of his Latin American dance and mood music which date mainly from the 1940s. After playing guitar and singing with Xavier Cugat in the mid- to late‘'30s, Arnaz established his own rhumba band in Miami, performed on Broadway, then took himself to Hollywood, where he met Lucille Ball. Ultimately, Arnaz appeared in ten movies. He was music director for Bob Hope's radio program in 1946-1947, and chucked full-time musicianship in 1949 to become an influential producer and one of the pioneers of modern television production. Exactly half of the titles on this set may be found on Harlequin's superb single-CD Arnaz collection, which appeared in 1998. This delightful music may be enjoyed under nearly any circumstances, preferably while preparing and serving up a Caribbean-style meal. It will work best in combination with recordings of similar vintage by Machito, Xavier Cugat, and Edmundo Ros.

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