Viola Smith, ‘fastest girl drummer in the world,’ dies at 10702:10
When Viola Smith’s father set out to form a family band, he put her on the drums because all the other instruments were taken. With many bands breaking up as men went off to serve in World War II, Smith saw an opportunity for women in music. She went on to play at major venues, including at Radio City Music Hall and “The Ed Sullivan Show.” The trailblazing musician died last month at age 107. Sunday TODAY’s Willie Geist remembers a life well lived.