THE SCREENING ROOM: Happy Birthday, Ethel Our Favorite Merman Moments

By Playbill Staff
January 16, 2012

Ethel Merman – who possessed the voice that defined the Broadway belt – would have turned 104 Jan. 16. Rose, Reno Sweeney and Annie Oakley were all strong, no-nonsense women and so was the woman who played them on stage.



In honor of The Merm's birthday, Playbill.com is sharing some of our favorite videos. Turn up the volume, hold your hats and hallelujah...

The opening of her 1965 BBC television concert An Evening With Ethel Merman, performing "A Lady With A Song"/"I Got Rhythm".

Merman joins Judy Garland for a special performance of "The Judy Garland Show." Gotta love Merman's line, "Let's face it, we're the last of the big belters."

An early performance of Ethel's from the 1931 film "Be Like Me": at age 23, performing "After I've Gone."

Performing "You're the Top" with Frank Sinatra on the Colgate Comedy Hour.

It's strictly audio, but we had to include this live recording of "Everything's Coming Up Roses," which is said to be from Merman's final performance in the Broadway production of Gypsy.

The Merm joined by Gypsy composer Jule Styne for a 1982 tribute in her honor on Merv Griffin's talk show.

The same 1982 Merv Griffin appearance, but joined here by Hello, Dolly! composer-lyricist Jerry Herman for "Before the Parade Passes By."

Ethel re-creates the original Anything Goes staging for this 1979 television special.

For a bonus: Merman pops up on the set of "The Judy Garland Show" when Barbra Streisand was a special guest. The ladies discuss Streisand's new musical Funny Girl by Gypsy writer Jule Styne and do an off-the-cuff rendition of "There's No Business Like Show Business."