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Mission Book Possible #29

Find a Book

We’ve officially surpassed 2,000 books in the database! We’ve created a fun way for readers to go on a sapphic book finding mission to get familiar with this new resource. Four prizes of a $15 Amazon gift card will be awarded in drawings on November 9, 16, 23, and 30. For complete rules, click here.


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Now let’s get to today’s history lesson: Viola Smith

On November 29, 1912, Viola Smith was born in Mount Calvary, Wisconsin.

Her father organized all the daughters to create an “all-girl” orchestra. Viola opted to play the drums because her older sisters had claimed the other instruments she liked. There were eight sisters in the group. Viola was one of the earliest professional female drummers.

In the twenties and thirties, Viola played in the Schmitz Family Orchestra (it became the Smith Sisters Orchestra). Her big break arrived when the sisters appeared on the Major Bowes Amateur Hour radio show in the 1930s. Viola and Mildred Smith formed the Coquettes, an all-female orchestra, in 1938 and the group lasted until 1942.

During World War II, in an article for Down Beat magazine, Viola wrote: “In these times of national emergency, many of the star instrumentalists of the big name bands are being drafted. Instead of replacing them with what may be mediocre talent, why not let some of the great girl musicians of the country take their place?”

Mildred married in 1942. Viola moved to New York, where she continued playing the drums. Her signature style was thirteen drums, and she became known as “female Gene Krupa” and the “fastest girl drummer.”

Viola celebrated her 107th birthday in November 2019, and it’s said she still drummed occasionally with bands, making her one of the oldest living musicians.

She’d suffered from Alzheimer’s, dying on October 21, 2020.

To honor Viola Smith, we’re asking readers to go to the BookFinder and look up books in the following Setting category: Casino / Club / Bar.

Find a book you haven’t read yet, or if you come across an old favorite, share it and tell us why. To enter the giveaway, share your entry in the Facebook group.

Remember, the more days you play, the more entries you’ll receive for the $15 Amazon gift card, so don’t forget to check back tomorrow for another Book Finding Mission.

Authors, if your books aren’t in the database yet, we highly recommend you submit them now. Here’s the form.

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