Marl Young, a musician who was instrumental in the merger of the all-black and all-white musicians unions in Los Angeles in the early 1950s and two decades later became the first black music director of a major network television series, “Here’s Lucy,” died April 29 in Los Angeles. He was 92.
Young, a recently retired longtime member of the board of directors of Professional Musicians, Local 47, had prostate cancer, but the exact cause of death has not been determined.
A pianist and arranger who arrived in Los Angeles from Chicago in 1947, Young became involved in the efforts of the black musicians union in L.A., Local 767, to unite with the white Local 47 in 1951.
He began his association with Lucille Ball and Desilu Productions as a pianist in the studio audience warmup band for “The Lucy Show.” He later did some composing and arranging for the show.
He is survived by a son, a granddaughter and a great-grandson.