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The following was e-mailed on 4/01/02:
From David Hillman in the UK:
I recently heard that Desi did a record that featured Lucy in the background. I think they said that it was "Carnival in Rio," and that it was released by the record company without Lucy's permission. Do you know if this is true, and, if so, if it is indeed called "Carnival in Rio"?
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T'is true! I have heard variations on the story over the years, but the gist of it is -- Lucy apparently stopped by to pick up Desi after one of his RCA Victor recording sessions. The session was running late, so she sat in the control booth and watched... For the last number, she went into the studio and sang along. (She reportedly sang in the background a falsetto version of the nursery rhyme, "Peter Piper.") It was done as a lark... Everyone had a laugh, and the Arnazes went home. Apparently someone at RCA heard about the recording and decided to release it -- without asking Lucy. They were simply trying to capitalize on her name. (The label clearly reads, "Vocal refrain by Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball.") Lucy sued for $100,000, but the suit was quickly settled out of court.
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