Welcome to a new Musical Theatre Monday! I’ve moved it up from the usual third Monday of the month to the second, so that we can honor the 111th birthday anniversary of Musical Theatre Monday’s patron saint, Ethel Merman, who was born on January 16th, 1908.
Every year I try to share another rarity in my collection related to my favorite Broadway diva, and this time I’ve got a treat: an audio recording — tracked — from the TV production of Irving Berlin’s Annie Get Your Gun (1946), which was telecast by NBC on Sunday, March 19, 1967. This abbreviated 90-minute version of the legendary 1966 Lincoln Center revival starring Merman, Bruce Yarnell, Jerry Orbach, and Benay Venuta, is not known to survive in any visual form. However, subscribers who comment below to alert me of their interest will be able to hear the entire show, including something La Merm never recorded officially (in the three separate times she sang the score in studio), the first act finale — excerpted below.
And now, for even the non-subscribers, here’s a recording of Ethel Merman and Bill Johnson with “Hey, Good Lookin'” from the Treasury Star Parade broadcast of Cole Porter’s Something For The Boys (1943). Note that this is different — listen to the ending, for example — from the version used on the AEI release, which consists of material from a shortwave broadcast to servicemen overseas, alongside a few Treasury Star Parade takes. (This rare track comes from the Sound Stage LP. I do not have the full Treasury Star Parade show to share.)
Happy birthday, Miss Merman!
Come back next month for another Musical Theatre Monday! And stay tuned tomorrow for more Just Shoot Me!