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Ethel Merman

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Ethel Merman

Ethel Merman

type:
Book
Current Status:
In Season
author:
Brian Kellow
publisher:
Viking
genre:
Biography, Nonfiction

We gave it a B

The singer’s starry Broadway career, spanning 15 musicals and four decades, gets the red-carpet treatment in this reverent bio spotlighting the hits (Annie Get Your Gun, pitched to new mom Merman while in the hospital) and misses (Happy Hunting, opposite an underwear-free Fernando Lamas). After unapologetically detailing the diva’s failures — Hollywood, Husbands — Brian Kellow gets oddly defensive in Ethel Merman; she was ”temperamental,” he reasons, because ”her talent was so immense.” Still, he is right about the Merm’s 1979 disco album: ”the biggest joke of Ethel’s career since her quickie marriage to Ernest Borgnine.” B

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