Ethel Agnes Zimmermann, 16 January 1909, Astoria, New York, USA, d. 15 February 1984, New York, USA. One of the most celebrated ladies of the Broadway musical stage, a dynamic entertainer, with a loud, brash, theatrical singing style, flawless diction, and extravagant manner, who usually played a gutsy lady with a heart of gold. Merman worked first as a secretary, then sang in nightclubs, eventually graduating to the best spots. Noticed by producer Vinton Freedley while singing at the Brooklyn Paramount, she was signed for George Gershwin and Ira Gershwins Broadway show Girl Crazy (1930), and was a great success, stopping the show with her version of I Got Rhythm, a song which became one of her life-long themes. She was equally successful in George Whites Scandals (1931), in which she co-starred with Rudy Vallee, and sang My Song and Life Is Just A Bowl Of Cherries; and Take A Chance (1932), when her two big numbers...
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