Drummers / Percussionists
Drummer Cafe 20th Anniversary
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BIOGRAPHY

Keith Thibodeaux

Keith Thibodeaux, born December 1, 1950 in Lafayette, Louisiana, is an American drummer, singer, songwriter and actor (aka Richard Keith), best known as the drum-playing son of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz on the now classic show, "I Love Lucy", and drummer for David and the Giants (1969–1977, 1979–1989).

Cited as a child prodigy, Thibodeaux started drumming at the age of two. By the age of three, Keith's abilities led him to a national tour with the Horace Heidt Orchestra where he was making $500 a week. Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball discovered Keith and hired him for the starring role as "Little Ricky Ricardo" because he looked so much like Desi. Since Thibodeaux's last name is Cajun French and "difficult to pronounce," Desi Arnaz changed the young actor's name to Richard Keith for the show. Thibodeaux went on to carry various stints on television, including The Andy Griffith Show, Route 66, The Shirley Temple Playhouse, Hazel, and much more.

In 1969, while attending the University of Louisiana in Lafayette, Keith joined and recorded with the then mainstream rock band, David and the Giants.

In 1974, after developing a drug problem and leaving the band, which broke up the group, Thibodeaux became a born-again Christian. He met and married a ballet dancer (Kathy Denton) in 1976, moved to Southern California a year later (1977), and joined the pop band, Starbuck, famous for the late 70s hit "Moonlight Feels Right".

In 1978, after just two weeks of rehearsals in Atlanta, Thibodeaux returned to Mississippi with his family eventually settling in Jackson, Mississippi where he briefly performed with local area jazz bands. During this time, Keith was witnessing to David Huff, sharing his faith with the former bandleader and band members, which led to their Christian conversion and a regrouping of a newly revamped Christian version of David and the Giants. The band went on to become one of the nation’s top contemporary Christian music groups. As a drummer, singer, and songwriter for the Dove nominated David and the Giants, Keith toured extensively for 10 years in the United States, Canada, Jamaica, and England, recording 9 albums before leaving the group (1989) to pursue other interests.

In January of 1991, Thibodeaux joined his wife Kathy on the road with Ballet Magnificat! and later (1993) became the company's Executive Director.

In addition to his current responsibilities at Ballet Magnificat!, Keith still finds time for the drums and recording. Keith's book, Life After Lucy, tells the story of his life as Little Ricky on the I Love Lucy show, and subsequent encounter with Jesus Christ as Savior. Life After Lucy is sold in bookstores and in the Gift Shop section of this website.  Keith and Kathy have one daughter, Tara, who is a dancer and choreographer and married to Bryce Drew, former player in the NBA and head basketball coach at Valparaiso University.

On December 9, 2007 Thibodeaux joined David and the Giants for a reunion concert at Emmanuel Praise Church in Monroe, GA and performed at the 2011 Nashville Amp Expo.

In 2014, Thibodeaux once again reunited with David and the Giants to record Still Rockin, a live album recorded at New Life Church in Pearl, Mississippi in the summer of 2013.


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