Episode 136: August 23, 2017

Viola Smith

Born in 1912, Viola Smith rose to fame during an era when female musicians were often relegated to novelty status; but over a career that spanned 50 years, she proved herself to be a visionary far ahead of her time. She talks to Joe about her childhood in Wisconsin, why becoming a traveling musician distanced her from religion, Chick Webb, Louis Belson, Buddy Rich (“not a likeable fellow”), Cabaret, and ignoring Frank Sinatra’s advances.

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