Brass Diva
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Brass Diva

The Life and Legends of Ethel Merman
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ISBN-13:
9780520927254
Seiten:
556
Autor:
Caryl Flinn
eBook Typ:
PDF
Kopierschutz:
Adobe DRM [Hard-DRM]
Sprache:
Englisch
Beschreibung:

Broadway star Ethel Merman's voice was a mesmerizing force and her vitality was legendary, yet the popular perception of La Merm as the irrepressible wonder falls far short of all that she was and all that she meant to Americans over so many decades. This marvelously detailed biography is the first to tell the full story of how the stenographer from Queens, New York, became the queen of the Broadway musical in its golden age. Mining official and unofficial sources, including interviews with Merman's family and her personal scrapbooks, Caryl Flinn unearths new details of Merman's life and finds that behind the high-octane personality was a remarkably pragmatic woman who never lost sight of her roots.




Brass Diva takes us from Merman's working-class beginnings through the extraordinary career that was launched in 1930 when, playing a secondary role in a Gershwin Brothers' show, she became an overnight sensation singing "I Got Rhythm." From there, we follow Merman's hits on Broadway, her uneven successes in Hollywood, and her afterlife as a beloved camp icon. This definitive work on the phenomenon that was Ethel Merman is also the first to thoroughly explore her robust influence on American popular culture.
Broadway star Ethel Merman's voice was a mesmerizing force and her vitality was legendary, yet the popular perception of La Merm as the irrepressible wonder falls far short of all that she was and all that she meant to Americans over so many decades. This marvelously detailed biography is the first to tell the full story of how the stenographer from Queens, New York, became the queen of the Broadway musical in its golden age. Mining official and unofficial sources, including interviews with Merman's family and her personal scrapbooks, Caryl Flinn unearths new details of Merman's life and finds that behind the high-octane personality was a remarkably pragmatic woman who never lost sight of her roots.



Brass Diva takes us from Merman's working-class beginnings through the extraordinary career that was launched in 1930 when, playing a secondary role in a Gershwin Brothers' show, she became an overnight sensation singing "I Got Rhythm." From there, we follow Merman's hits on Broadway, her uneven successes in Hollywood, and her afterlife as a beloved camp icon. This definitive work on the phenomenon that was Ethel Merman is also the first to thoroughly explore her robust influence on American popular culture.
preface vii



1 / Beginnings 1

2 / From Stenographer to Star 30

3 / The Early Thirties 67

4 / To Hollywood and Back Again 90

5 / Broadway’s Brightest: The Early Forties 113

6 / Forging a Family 138

7 / What Comes Natur’lly: Annie Get Your Gun 150

8 / Call Me Madam 177

9 / A More Complex Image 192

10 / Madam in Hollywood 218

11 / Life with Six 239

12 / There’s No Business Like Show Business 255

13 / From Mrs. Six to Mama Rose 278

14 / Gypsy: Ethel Merman’s Musical Fable 293

15 / It’s a Mad, Mad Schedule 333

16 / The Sixties and the Art of Love 347

17 / After the Big Stem—the Seventies 374

18 / Twilight and Transformation 401

19 / Afterlife 415



acknowledgments 429

a word on the scrapbooks 433

discography 437

stage work 443

filmography 463



notes 473

index 000