Who could ever forget that bizarre moment in 1979 when Ethel Merman, the first lady of American musical theater, became the "first lady" of disco with the release of her notorious camp-classic disco a

Who could ever forget that bizarre moment in 1979 when Ethel Merman, the first lady of American musical theater, became the "first lady" of disco with the release of her notorious camp-classic disco album on A&M Records? One is tempted to ask why, but, it was the '70s and disco was a hot commodity, so why not? The concept was so absurd that it almost bordered on brilliant. Now, at long last, this cherished "wrinkle in time" gets a proper CD issue for die-hard fans, the curious, and the uninitiated alike. Still mind-boggling, the collection includes disco interpretations of such signature Merman Broadway chestnuts as "There's No Business Like Show Business," "Everything's Coming Up Roses," the festive ragtime-meets-Donna Summer-inspired frenzy of "I Got Rhythm," and the previously unreleased "They Say It's Wonderful." Along with other titanic musical oddities like William Shatner Sings, Tammy Faye Bakker's "Ballad of Jim and Tammy," Goldie Hawn's Goldie, and Jackie Gleason Presents Aphrodisia, The Ethel Merman Disco Album is one of those priceless anomalies in popular music that's too surreal to ignore.—CR

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