29¢ Ethel Merman
Issue Date: September 1, 1994
City: New York, NY
Printed By: Stamp Venturers
Printing Method: Photogravure
Perforations: 10.1 x 10.2
Born in Astoria, New York, Ethel Zimmermann eventually dropped the “Zim” and the final “n” from her name, to become Ethel Merman. A self-taught singer who was described as “a doll from Astoria with a trumpet in her throat,” she worked as a secretary and part-time performer until she received her big break into show business.
In 1930, her performance in George Gershwin’s musical Girl Crazy catapulted her overnight from an obscure nightclub singer to a superstar of Broadway. Known as the “Queen of Broadway,” her dazzling career lasted more than 50 years. With her clear, sharp, vibrant voice and spontaneous presentations, she was a favored performer for many of the major songwriters of the day, including Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, and Rodgers and Hammerstein.
In 1934 she made her movie debut. However, she continued to dominate the spotlights of Broadway where she achieved her most notable success in Anything Goes (1934), Red, Hot, and Blue (1936), Annie Get Your Gun (1946), Call Me Madam (1950), and Gypsy (1959). In 1972, Merman was awarded a special Tony Award in recognition of her lifetime contribution to show business.