Artist picture of Ethel Merman

Ethel Merman

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There's No Business Like Show Business Ethel Merman 05:47
There's No Business Like Show Business: There's No Business Like Show Business Ethel Merman, Marilyn Monroe 02:29
Everything's Coming Up Roses Ethel Merman, Orchestra Jerome Robbins 03:09
Alexander's Ragtime Band Ethel Merman 04:26
Everything's Coming up Roses (From "Gypsy") [Remastered 2014] Ethel Merman 03:03
Gypsy : Some People Stephen Sondheim, Ethel Merman 03:38
You'll Neer Get Away from Me Ethel Merman, Jack Klugman 02:27
Mr. Goldstone Ethlel Merman 02:21
I Got Rhythm Ethel Merman 01:17
Alexander's Ragtime Band Irving Berlin, Ethel Merman, Dan Dailey, Donald O'Connor 08:39

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Heatwave

by Ethel Merman

08/11/2023

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Biography

A huge Broadway star through the 1940s and '50s, Ethel Merman's powerful voice and strident personality established her formidable reputation as 'the first lady of musical comedy', indelibly associated with classic songs of the era like 'I Got Rhythm', 'Everything's Coming Up Roses', 'I Get a Kick Out of You', 'Anything Goes' and 'There's No Business Like Show Business'. The daughter of a New York accountant, she trained as a secretary, but her irrepressible personality and vibrant artistic spirit was never going to be contained by an office job and visits to the vaudeville theatre, where she saw the likes of Sophie Tucker and Fanny Brice, inspired her future career. She began appearing in night clubs and shortened her family name Zimmermann to Merman because it more easily fit on the posters and she got herself a residency as a torch singer at Les Ambassadeurs club in Manhattan as support act to Jimmy Durante, who became one of her closest friends.

In 1930 she got her first film role in 'Follow the Leader' with Ginger Rogers and then got an even bigger break starring in the George & Ira Gershwin musical 'Girl Crazy', getting a major hit with the song 'I Got Rhythm'. It launched her into a glittering career in Hollywood, specialising in musical comedy roles. Her greatest successes were in five Cole Porter musicals, notably 'Anything Goes', starring in both the stage and film versions, Porter's ribald lyricism perfectly fitting Merman's saucy personality. In 1946 she starred in another massive stage hit in 'Annie Get Your Gun' and, soon after, 'There's No Business Like Show Business'. She went on to have further success in 'Call Me Madam' and 'Gypsy' and the films 'It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World' and 'The Art of Love' and, following a break of several years, returned to the stage in 'Hello Dolly' in 1970. Her last movie appearance was in the comedy 'Airplane!' in 1980. She died three years later.