1917 – He was born on the 2nd day of March this year in Santiago, Cuba. His father served in the Cuban House of Representatives and became Santiago’s youngest mayor.
1936 – He began his career as a professional musician in this year, playing guitar and percussion for a Latin orchestra.
1937 – He was equally successful as a recording artist. He begins his musical career this year.
1946 – This year, he released with what became his signature song, the Santeria-flavored "Babalu”.
1939 – He starred on Broadway in the successful musical Too Many Girls.
1940 – He then went to Hollywood to appear in this year movie version at RKO, which starred actress and comedian Lucille Ball. He also married her this year.
1943 – He appeared in several movies, but most notably in “Bataan”. After he became engaged in television, he kept the orchestra on his payroll throughout the period he remained an active producer.
1960 – He remarried after his divorce with Ball.
1970 – He co-hosted a week of shows with daytime TV favorite Mike Douglas. Vivian Vance appeared as a guest, and in this brief reunion, viewers could see the genuine affection each had for the other.
1976 – He also headlined a Kraft Music Hall special on NBC that featured his two children, with a brief appearance by Vance. He intends to promote his autobiography, A Book, in this year.
1986 – He, a lifelong smoker, was diagnosed with lung cancer in early this year. He died from the disease on the 2nd of December this year, at age 69. His wife, Edith, had died previously, also from cancer. His body was cremated and his ashes scattered.