Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Luvsbway

Ethel Merman: She's Got The Sun In The Morning And The Moon At Night

Recommended Posts

Luvsbway    1,927

How do we not have a thread for her?

 

I was reading about a Feb, 28, 1954 TV version of Anything Goes with Ethel Merman, Frank Sinatra, and Bert Lahr. I learned this interesting fact. ” In Stephen Cole’s excellent 14-page booklet, he teaches us that Merman requested that the broadcast include “Friendship” (from DuBarry Is a Lady, in which she had co-starred with Lahr 15 years earlier). It’s pretty much been in every edition of Anything Goes ever since – so you have Merman to blame or thank for the insertion.” I always wondered how that song got associated with that show.

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
C L A U D E    2,006

How do we not have a thread for her?

 

I was reading about a Feb, 28, 1954 TV version of Anything Goes with Ethel Merman, Frank Sinatra, and Bert Lahr. I learned this interesting fact. ” In Stephen Cole’s excellent 14-page booklet, he teaches us that Merman requested that the broadcast include “Friendship” (from DuBarry Is a Lady, in which she had co-starred with Lahr 15 years earlier). It’s pretty much been in every edition of Anything Goes ever since – so you have Merman to blame or thank for the insertion.” I always wondered how that song got associated with that show.

Not only did Lucy do it in that duet with Ethel, but she also did a fantastic version with Gene Kelly on her guest stint on his special recreating the one they did in Dubarry was a lady.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
C L A U D E    2,006

By the way, I've always been a fan of The Merm, I always thought her role in Mad Mad World was perfect. One of the all time best Lucy interviews is a tribute to Merman that Merv Griffin did for her when she won the Pied Piper award from the songwriters guild or whatever it's called. Other guests included Ginger Rogers, Lucy and Ginger were surprises to The Merm. Lucy wore the dress she wore on Life with Lucy for her daughter's wedding.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Neil    1,271

How do we not have a thread for her?

 

I was reading about a Feb, 28, 1954 TV version of Anything Goes with Ethel Merman, Frank Sinatra, and Bert Lahr. I learned this interesting fact. ” In Stephen Cole’s excellent 14-page booklet, he teaches us that Merman requested that the broadcast include “Friendship” (from DuBarry Is a Lady, in which she had co-starred with Lahr 15 years earlier). It’s pretty much been in every edition of Anything Goes ever since – so you have Merman to blame or thank for the insertion.” I always wondered how that song got associated with that show.

 

There was an early-60s off-Broadway revival with starred Eileen Rogers in the Merman role and Hal Linden as the male lead. This version incorporated a lot of other Porter songs including "Friendship" and with a variation of two, it's been the one used ever since. Even though some of the songs are shoe-horned into the plot, I think it's a good thing because these other Porter shows don't seem to be revived. The off-Broadway mentioned above released an album which I had and loved. Not sure if it ever made it to CD.

In the early 80s I saw "AG" tour in a full-out production with 70 year old GINGER ROGERS in the Reno role and SID CAESAR as Moonface. We made Ginger do her "Take Me Back to Manhattan" dance THREE times. She seemed genuinely thrilled that we wouldn't let her leave the stage. Ginger looked fine. The fact that she was 70 did not matter in the least. She did a local TV interview and wore a VEIL. As Elaine Stritch would say: "does anyone still wear.....a veil?"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
C L A U D E    2,006

There was an early-60s off-Broadway revival with starred Eileen Rogers in the Merman role and Hal Linden as the male lead. This version incorporated a lot of other Porter songs including "Friendship" and with a variation of two, it's been the one used ever since. Even though some of the songs are shoe-horned into the plot, I think it's a good thing because these other Porter shows don't seem to be revived. The off-Broadway mentioned above released an album which I had and loved. Not sure if it ever made it to CD.

In the early 80s I saw "AG" tour in a full-out production with 70 year old GINGER ROGERS in the Reno role and SID CAESAR as Moonface. We made Ginger do her "Take Me Back to Manhattan" dance THREE times. She seemed genuinely thrilled that we wouldn't let her leave the stage. Ginger looked fine. The fact that she was 70 did not matter in the least. She did a local TV interview and wore a VEIL. As Elaine Stritch would say: "does anyone still wear.....a veil?"

LOL! Old Hollywood ladies do, LOL! Ginger, in one of her first Broadway roles sang the incredibly beautiful ballad, THEY'RE WRITING SONGS OF LOVE, BUT NOT FOR ME . . . Saw the movie bio of the great Cole Porter a few weeks ago and absolutely hated it, the way it was done, such a mish mash, but there's no denying his music all the way through this fiasco was excellent. The music, and Kevin Kline's performance were the only two things I loved about the film.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
C L A U D E    2,006

Oh and by the way, on one of the clips posted here of Lucy, the next wall of choices after it's played had the ladies of RKO reminiscing about their glorious days there, Lucy, Hepburn and yes, Ginger Rogers too, all looking lovely.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Luvsbway    1,927

That series I believe was a 5 parter and Lucy is back in the final section talking about the RKO purchase. Not sure if that one ever made it to YouTube.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
C L A U D E    2,006

That series I believe was a 5 parter and Lucy is back in the final section talking about the RKO purchase. Not sure if that one ever made it to YouTube.

Nope, this is the one where they're just starting out, mention of Lela Rogers and so on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
HarryCarter    952
She did a local TV interview and wore a VEIL. As Elaine Stritch would say: "does anyone still wear.....a veil?"

 

:lucyhaha: I assume it was a JC Penney's veil.

 

I love Ethel Merman. I think this audio clip from her famous 1977 concert with Mary Martin might be my favorite vocal performance by The Merm.

 

Merman, nearly 70, belts out Blow, Gabriel, Blow:

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
HarryCarter    952

I figure this is as good a place as any to post this.... If anyone is in New York or Los Angeles on September 13 and 14, the Paley Center for Media will be doing a screening of weird, wild, and wonderful unsold sitcom pilots. Among those is Ethel Merman's Maggie Brown, which Lucy was very involved in behind the scenes, as well as Desi's Carol Channing Show.

 

Here's the list of what's being shown:

 

Maggie Brown

Ethel Merman plays the title character, a widowed saloon owner in a place called Lobster Island. Merman belts out two songs she introduced on Broadway: "Friendship" and "Mutual Admiration Society," the latter a duet with Bye Bye Birdie's Susan Watson, who plays Maggie's teenage daughter. (1963; 28 minutes)

 

The Carol Channing Show

Carol Channing plays Carol Honeycutt, a small town woman who moves to New York City to try to make it in show business. This proposed series was produced and directed by Desi Arnaz, created by I Love Lucy writers Madelyn Davis and Bob Carroll Jr., featured theme music by Jerry Herman, and costarred Richard Deacon and Jane Dulo. (1966; 37 minutes)

 

The Laughmakers

Written by Woody Allen, this pilot centers on an improv troupe played by Paul Hampton, Alan Alda, Sandy Baron, and Louise Lasser (who would later marry Allen) who perform at a Greenwich Village club called the Freudian Slip and what happens when a new player (Marilyn Sobol) joins their group. (1962; 27 minutes)

 

Where's Everett?

Alan Alda returns in this fantastical story of an average married man who discovers an invisible alien baby on his doorstep. His family names this unseen creature Everett and takes him into their home. (1966; 26 minutes)

 

The Shameful Secrets of Hastings Corner

Years before such shows as Soap and Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, this soap opera spoof contains all the necessary ingredients including evil twins, amnesia, and kidnapping. Hal Linden, Karen Black, and Alan Oppenheimer are among the stars of this show about a small town like Peyton Place and the family rivalries and scandals there. (1969; 26 minutes)

 

MacLeish and the Rented Kid

Dick Van Dyke stars as a free-spirited cartoonist raising the eleven-year-old son of a friend. Van Dyke was displeased by the final result and dissuaded ABC from turning the property into a series. (1975; 25 minutes)

 

http://www.paleycenter.org/pp-grounded-pilots

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Brock    3,280

Where's Everett?

Alan Alda returns in this fantastical story of an average married man who discovers an invisible alien baby on his doorstep. His family names this unseen creature Everett and takes him into their home. (1966; 26 minutes)

 

 

:blink: lol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
C L A U D E    2,006

Is THAT why that jerk screwed up Lucy by never buying HER product at Desilu.  Thanks, always wanted to know why Lucy always said she could never sell anything during the aubrey regime. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Neil    1,271

This conjures up so many questions.  The first of which, and not the last:  If it's invisible how does he know it's an alien baby? And where do the plots go from the discover?  Enrolling the invisible alien in nursery school?   Did this one run an installment of "Vacation Playhouse"?

 

Carol Channing's pilot was on the Mothers In Law disc and it's truly awful, but great that they restored it for the DVD.  Just goes to show that all the best creative minds AND a bankable star can still come up short.

I've seen "Maggie" but a horrible print of it so it would be nice to see it in pristine form.

I think this one had series potential.

I've never quite understood why Lucy didn't have more clout with CBS, since she was arguably their greatest asset.  Her Desilu pilots were no worse than some of the shows CBS picked and better than a lot.  You'd think she could have appealed to Paley and bypassed Aubrey.

Her annual threat to cease production of "the Lucy Show" and concentrate more on Desilu did not seem to have the desired affect.

Where's Everett?
Alan Alda returns in this fantastical story of an average married man who discovers an invisible alien baby on his doorstep. His family names this unseen creature Everett and takes him into their home. (1966; 26 minutes)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Brock    3,280

 

 

Carol Channing's pilot was on the Mothers In Law disc and it's truly awful, but great that they restored it for the DVD.  Just goes to show that all the best creative minds AND a bankable star can still come up short.

 

I agree, it is awful, but the dance scene at the end did, IMO, show a nugget of potential. Carol was hilarious there. It seems the show was done essentially on the fly, considering they didn't re-shoot the "How do!" opening scene where Channing clearly had ample flecks of foam in the corners of her mouth.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
HarryCarter    952

This conjures up so many questions. The first of which, and not the last: If it's invisible how does he know it's an alien baby? And where do the plots go from the discover? Enrolling the invisible alien in nursery school? Did this one run an installment of "Vacation Playhouse"?

 

Carol Channing's pilot was on the Mothers In Law disc and it's truly awful, but great that they restored it for the DVD. Just goes to show that all the best creative minds AND a bankable star can still come up short.

 

Where's Everett? was aired on CBS on April 18, 1966, but not as part of Vacation Playhouse. It replaced Hazel, which had ended the previous week. Alan and family knew the invisible baby was an alien because he eventually saw the space ship that dropped off the baby. I have no idea how they thought this was a sustainable premise.

 

I think The Carol Channing Show is hilarious, but I don't think I find it funny in the way it was meant to be funny. It is so over the top. The pilot had a sponsor (General Foods) and was supposed to go to series, but Carol backed out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
HarryCarter    952

I agree, it is awful, but the dance scene at the end did, IMO, show a nugget of potential. Carol was hilarious there. It seems the show was done essentially on the fly, considering they didn't re-shoot the "How do!" opening scene where Channing clearly had ample flecks of foam in the corners of her mouth.

I don't think they planned on the dance sequence being in the pilot. Nobody in that scene is credited in the end credits and in Carol's epilogue she refers to her disastrous stint at the restaurant ("Mama mia!") as if that's what we just saw happen and the dance hall is not mentioned. The runtime for the pilot is an odd 37 minutes. I wonder if they filmed the dance hall sequence and decided to cut it or if they filmed it later and decided to insert into the finished pilot. It's all very unusual to me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
leenorman    504

I figure this is as good a place as any to post this.... If anyone is in New York or Los Angeles on September 13 and 14, the Paley Center for Media will be doing a screening of weird, wild, and wonderful unsold sitcom pilots. Among those is Ethel Merman's Maggie Brown, which Lucy was very involved in behind the scenes, as well as Desi's Carol Channing Show.

 

Here's the list of what's being shown:

 

Maggie Brown

Ethel Merman plays the title character, a widowed saloon owner in a place called Lobster Island. Merman belts out two songs she introduced on Broadway: "Friendship" and "Mutual Admiration Society," the latter a duet with Bye Bye Birdie's Susan Watson, who plays Maggie's teenage daughter. (1963; 28 minutes)

 

The Carol Channing Show

Carol Channing plays Carol Honeycutt, a small town woman who moves to New York City to try to make it in show business. This proposed series was produced and directed by Desi Arnaz, created by I Love Lucy writers Madelyn Davis and Bob Carroll Jr., featured theme music by Jerry Herman, and costarred Richard Deacon and Jane Dulo. (1966; 37 minutes)

 

The Laughmakers

Written by Woody Allen, this pilot centers on an improv troupe played by Paul Hampton, Alan Alda, Sandy Baron, and Louise Lasser (who would later marry Allen) who perform at a Greenwich Village club called the Freudian Slip and what happens when a new player (Marilyn Sobol) joins their group. (1962; 27 minutes)

 

Where's Everett?

Alan Alda returns in this fantastical story of an average married man who discovers an invisible alien baby on his doorstep. His family names this unseen creature Everett and takes him into their home. (1966; 26 minutes)

 

The Shameful Secrets of Hastings Corner

Years before such shows as Soap and Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, this soap opera spoof contains all the necessary ingredients including evil twins, amnesia, and kidnapping. Hal Linden, Karen Black, and Alan Oppenheimer are among the stars of this show about a small town like Peyton Place and the family rivalries and scandals there. (1969; 26 minutes)

 

MacLeish and the Rented Kid

Dick Van Dyke stars as a free-spirited cartoonist raising the eleven-year-old son of a friend. Van Dyke was displeased by the final result and dissuaded ABC from turning the property into a series. (1975; 25 minutes)

 

 

http://www.paleycenter.org/pp-grounded-pilots

 

Harry:  Do you have filming dates, airing dates; instead of just years?  I'd love the actual ones for the chronology; IMDb does not show them.  Thanks if you can get. or steer me to the proper site to find them.  I have Maggie Brown; just the Carol Channing Show dates would be great!  Don't need the 'others', just Desilu products.  Thanks. Loving you, JK

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Neil    1,271

The show is a perfect example of why you can't give prop comedy to anybody.  There's only one person who might have been able to pull off the electric knife business.  Lucy made those sorts of bits look so organic that we forget what a master she was at it sometimes.

I don't think they planned on the dance sequence being in the pilot. Nobody in that scene is credited in the end credits and in Carol's epilogue she refers to her disastrous stint at the restaurant ("Mama mia!") as if that's what we just saw happen and the dance hall is not mentioned. The runtime for the pilot is an odd 37 minutes. I wonder if they filmed the dance hall sequence and decided to cut it or if they filmed it later and decided to insert into the finished pilot. It's all very unusual to me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
HarryCarter    952

Harry:  Do you have filming dates, airing dates; instead of just years?  I'd love the actual ones for the chronology; IMDb does not show them.  Thanks if you can get. or steer me to the proper site to find them.  I have Maggie Brown; just the Carol Channing Show dates would be great!  Don't need the 'others', just Desilu products.  Thanks. Loving you, JK

 

The Carol Channing Show never aired, so there is no air date. I'm sorry, but I don't know the filming date. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Neil    1,271

And I meant that sometimes we forget, not sometimes she was a master.  There may be something I'm forgetting but I can't think of a time when it was obvious Lucy was doing some "accident" on purpose---such as Carol holding the electric knife abnormally high to cut the lights strung over the restaurant.  With the I Love Lucy team at the helm and Carol at her popularity peak with Hello Dolly and some well-received TV specials, it would have seemed a sure thing.

The show is a perfect example of why you can't give prop comedy to anybody.  There's only one person who might have been able to pull off the electric knife business.  Lucy made those sorts of bits look so organic that we forget what a master she was at it sometimes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
C L A U D E    2,006

I guess it was just another example of somebody being the ultimate in talent and yet getting the wrong group of people together, sorta like Bette Midler's show decades later.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×