On October 15, 1951, the very first episode of the I Love Lucy show aired on CBS and became the most watched TV show in the U.S. for four of its seven-year run. Fun trivia about the opening theme song is that during the first season the show opened with their sponsor Philip Morris’ animation of stick figure cartoons of Lucy and Desi climbing down a pack of Philip Morris cigarettes. It was scored with Ferde Grofé’s Jr. “The Grand Canyon Suite” theme (a composition from 1931).
From the second season onwards, the “I Love Lucy” signature tune we all know so well became the main theme, and one of the most recognizable pieces of music on the planet. It was written by composer Eliot Daniel who cranked it out in an afternoon as a favor to his old Coast Guard buddy Jess Oppenheimer, the show’s producer. Since Daniel still had another year under his exclusive contract to Fox, he asked Oppenheimer to keep his name out of it. Consequently his name does not appear on first or the second season TV credits for what became one of the most popular TV themes. Later, Daniel did seek credit and received royalties from syndicated reruns for the rest of his life.
The lyrics were written by Harold Adamson for an episode in the third season in which Lucy believes everyone has forgotten her birthday. So of course Ricky saves the day after a near disaster. Here’s a clip of that—enjoy!
For some fun Lucy collectibles, visit the I Love Lucy Collectionary.
Category: Behind The Song