This Day in Music: A Newcomer Named Ethel Merman

The Playbill site has the following entry for July 9, 1930 in its highlights of show business music history:

In today’s Variety, a review of a new vaudeville show at the Eighty Sixth Street Theatre singles out a newcomer from the world of cabaret. Reads the review: “She is a good looking girl with a fair enough voice that might carry much further with special stuff. This is her first stage appearance. She’s out of cabaret so probably has plenty to learn.” Her name is Ethel Merman.

There was nothing subtle about Ethel Merman. Above, she sings “Everything’s Coming Up Roses,” which is from the 1959 Broadway musical “Gypsy: A Musical Fable” which, of course, is usually just called “Gypsy.” It’s clear from the audience reaction that she was loved. The music was written by Jule Styne and the lyrics by Stephen Sondheim.

Merman–or Lieutenant Hurwitz–was not above poking fun at herself.

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