Musician Marl Young, who broke down racial barriers in network television, has died at age 92. Young was music director for “Here’s Lucy,” the first black musician to hold that position on a network show.
According to the obituary in the Los Angeles Times, Young became music director of “Here’s Lucy” in 1970, following the death of Wilbur Hatch. Young had previously had a long association with Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball, playing piano in the studio warmup band for “The Lucy Show” and composing and arranging for the show, before his work on the follow-up sitcom, “Here’s Lucy.”
Young had previously been instrumental in merging the segregated black (Local 767) and white (Local 47) musicians unions in Hollywood. In 1954, in became the first black member of the board of directors at desegregated Local 47. After “Here’s Lucy” ended production Young was elected to the fulltime position of Local 47 Secretary in 1974 and served for eight years.