Thursday, February 03, 2005


In California I used to get the Classic Arts Showcase on channel 32.

This is a network of short films about the arts. They put on a caption telling you what you are about to see, run the film, which is never longer than 5 minutes to avoid fees, and then show the caption again at the end. That’s it. They run concert tapes, opera, ballet, pieces of movies and animated music. I would surf through the channels and occasionally strike gold.

One day I came upon a mysterious, dark young woman singing in English with wonderful intensity and nuance against a noir backdrop. I kept thinking, “I know who this is,” but could not retrieve a name. It gives me shivers now just thinking about the thrill I felt when I suddenly realized I was seeing a very young Ethel Merman. Who knew Ethel Merman could be this?

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