While this post is certainly about Ethel Merman and her foray into the disco craze. It was in fact brought about thanks to finding this ad in a 1979 TV Guide. For the 1972 to 1982 Saturday Morning variety show, Kids Are People Too.
[Via] Howie Zeidman
Sadly I’ve not been lucky enough to find any of that Christopher Reeve segment online. Although at the very least we do have the Ethel Merman disco rendition of Alexander’s Ragtime Band! I am afraid however that you will have to follow the link here to see that particular TV broadcast. Having said that I am happy to say that you can see her perform the same number on this segment of Johnny Carson.
[Via] Alan Eichler
I will admit that we use the term legendary a little too freely these days. However in regards to Ethel Merman there is no other way to describe the woman. Born Ethel Agnes Zimmerman in 1908 – of course she swore it was 1912. Ethel Merman ended up altering her name because of fears it wouldn’t fit on a marquee very easily. Merman found success thanks to her comedic style, bold and strong character, as well as her iconic voice.
Ethel Merman started making a name for herself after performing as a singer for Jimmy Durante. In fact the two would form a lifelong bond of friendship from this working experience.
Soon she became a Broadway star after appearing in the Gershwin musical Girl Crazy in 1930. A role that audiences and critics took notice of – not to mention running for 272 performances. Although she would appear in numerous movies and TV shows throughout her life, it was most certainly Broadway where she reigned supreme.
In 1979, at the ripe old age of seventy-one, Ethel was naturally still going strong. Which is when of course she decided to release The Ethel Merman Disco Album. Featuring seven songs that she was well known for:
- There’s No Business Like Show Business
- Everything’s Coming Up Roses
- I Get a Kick Out of You
- Something for the Boys
- Some People
- Alexander’s Ragtime Band
- I Got Rhythm
It has been said that Ethel literally recorded all seven songs for the album – in one take each. The disco arraingement was added in afterwards, which might have resulted in the rather negative reviews. I can’t speak to any of that as perhaps I just love Ethel Merman too much to care?
[Via] Thierry Alexandre