She Had Rhythm and Was the Top

Ethel Merman: 1908-1984

From start to finish, her life was Broadway legend. She believed in herself so fiercely that as an unknown she pushed her way into a job as a chorus girl in George White's celebrated Scandals.

Then she turned it down, saying she would rather go back to singing at clambakes than be just another face on "the line." She knew she had something special, and soon enough the whole world knew it too. From the opening night of the 1930 George Gershwin musical Girl Crazy, when Ethel Merman, 21, trumpeted out...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!