This television special for Ford Startime marked Ethel Merman's thirtieth year as a Broadway star. She had made her debut in the George and Ira Gershwin Show Girl Crazy in 1931. As this show was being broadcast, her last big hit show Gypsy was being run on Broadway.
Knowing that the Gershwin Brothers, Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, and Jule Styne had all written hit songs for her you know right away you're going to hear some really good material in this hour.
Helping her along in the vocalizing department with some duets are Fess Parker, Tab Hunter, and Tom Poston as an eclectic a group of co-stars as you'll ever find. Parker even gets a solo, The Girl That I Marry when the two of them do some of the songs from Annie Get Your Gun.
The highlight however is Tab Hunter as a newly minted psychiatrist who gets Ethel as his first patient. The skit turns as she starts analyzing him and then they do You're Just In Love from Call Me Madam, one of the few of her Broadway roles Ethel got to do for the screen.
Like Al Jolson, Ethel Merman was best before a live audience, the small and the big screen could barely contain her when she sung and that woman did not want to be contained. For those who appreciate and miss this show is not to be missed.
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