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Melany Myers

Weekdays 10:00AM-3:00PM

It’s no secret that I’m a big rock fan, so when I saw the title of this story, I knew I had to check it out. Viola Smith is 106 years old, and is still rockin’ on the drums. 

Born Viola Schmitz on November 29, 1912, Wisconsin, Viola was one of ten children. The entire family studied piano, and in the 1920s their father got Viola and her six sisters together to form the Smith Sisters Orchestra. Viola was noticed when she and her sisters performed on the Major Bowes Amateur Hour, a 1930s radio version of America’s Got Talent. In 1938 Viola and her sister Mildred were able to start an all-girl orchestra called The Coquettes, which performed until 1942 when Mildred got married. The Coquettes is probably what Viola is best known for. The band scored several well-known swing tunes during the early days of the war.

Viola went on to do some amazing things! She was even featured on the cover of Billboard Magazine in 1940. Viola was once known as “America’s fastest girl drummer” and is obviously still hard core since she’s still playing drums at 106 years old. Absolutely amazing!!  Rock on Viola, rock on!

Read more about Viola’s life, and check her out playing drums here.