“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -George Bernard Shaw
Born in 1912, Viola Smith (originally Schmitz) lived to be 107, passing away just a few months ago in October. The sixth-born of ten children, she began as a teen drummer in the Schmitz Sisters Family Orchestra with her seven sisters. Later, she also played in The Coquettes, Hour of Charm, Viola And Her Seventeen Drums, and the Kit Kat Band. She performed with the NBC Symphony Orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra, and at the inauguration of President Truman in 1949.
Viola Smith continued to shed well after her 100th birthday with the Piecemakers and the Forever Young Band.