For those who care about such, and full accuracy, I realized something else I should have added to my analysis of the four versions of "Hello, Dolly!" and have added it back into the piece. It's a second reason why Ethel Merman's rendition may be trumped a bit by the other three. In addition to what I wrote -- that she's likely the best to have seen live, rather than just on a recording -- there's this:
It's that this isn’t The Best song for Ethel Merman. It’s an amazing song for the character of Dolly, but it’s as much a chorus number. Far better for Merman were probably, “So Long, Dearie,” “Before the Parade Passes By” and “I Put My Hand In.” I suspect she blew the bejeepers out the theater on those.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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