Centenarians

Viola Smith Viola played drums in a number of big bands and small combos during her career in music. She joined Phil Spitalny's all-female orchestra as the drummer and later appeared in such films as 1945's "Here Come the Co-Eds" featuring Bud Abbott and Lou Costello. In the 1960s she joined the...
William Tapia stood up in front of United States solders playing his ukulele and singing at the tender age of eight years old. He was entertaining the troops for World War I and did not stop playing until the year of his passing at the age of 103!  His life in music was almost as fasinating as his...
This audio only interview was conducted for a radio program by Dan Del Fiorentino and donated to the NAMM Oral History program: Louise Tobin was a popular singer during the golden years of the Big Band Swing era. She performed with such bands as those led by Jack Jenney, Will Bradley, Benny Goodman...
Orrin Tucker’s Orchestra recorded one of the greatest successes of the big band era, “Oh Johnny Oh.” This novelty number featured the shy voice of Wee Bonnie Baker and has come to symbolize the musical era and the social climate of America during the late 1930s and early 1940s. Orrin enjoyed a full...
This audio only interview was conducted for a radio program by Dan Del Fiorentino and donated to the NAMM Oral History program: Bea Wain was a singer with the big bands during the great swing era of the 1940s. She began singing with Artie Shaw's orchestra in 1937. Her greatest success came as she...

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