Musicals Tonight! presents Ethel Merman - A Musical Salute. Hear the songs Ethel Merman made famous and a little about her life story. Secretary Ethel Zimmerman did not become Momma Rose in Gypsy (1959) overnight. After a brief stint in night clubs and vaudeville, she auditioned in George Gershwin's Upper West Side apartment and got a featured role in Girl Crazy (1930). She never looked back. Hear her songs and her story.