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Ethel Merman


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Ethel Merman (January 16, 1908 – February 15, 1984) was an American actress and singer. Known primarily for her belting voice and roles in musical theatre, she has been called “the undisputed First Lady of the musical comedy stage.” Among the many standards introduced by Merman in Broadway musicals are “I Got Rhythm”, “Everything’s Coming Up Roses”, “Some People”, “Rose’s Turn”, “I Get a Kick Out of You”, “It’s De-Lovely”, “Friendship”, “You’re the Top”, “Anything Goes”, and “There’s No Business Like Show Business”, which later became her theme song.

Ethel Agnes Zimmerman was born in the third floor bedroom of her grandmother’s house at 359 4th Avenue in Astoria, Queens. Growing up near Famous Players-Lasky’s Astoria Studios, young Ethel often watched the silent movie stars drive by in their massive cars, and she dreamed of joining their ranks one day. Her powerful voice won attention when her family worshipped at Holy Redeemer Episcopal Church, and she began making local concert appearances. She also frequently attended vaudeville performances at The Palace Theater in Manhattan, watching great stars like Fanny Brice and Sophie Tucker.

Ethel’s parents Edward (an accountant) and Agnes (a school teacher) understood Ethel’s love of singing, but they did not see show business as a reliable career choice for a woman. They insisted that she get a solid education with thorough training in secretarial skills, so she would have something to fall back on if her dreams of stardom didn’t pan out. After Ethel graduating William Cullen Bryant High School, she earned a respectable $28 a week as a stenographer for the owner of a local factory.


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  • BallerCraig

    CREAMY, yum-yum...!!!

    24 Jun 2014 Reply
  • MusicHallofFame

    The Music Hall of Fame are delighted to induct Ethel Merman into the Class of 1975. Congratulations. Please vist our page too see the latest inductees into the Music Hall of Fame

    2 May 2012 Reply
  • spincat

    Wow 74k only?

    25 Aug 2011 Reply
  • GPX


    13 Aug 2011 Reply

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