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She was first widely noticed when the sisters performed on the Major Bowes Amateur Hour, a 1930s radio version of America’s Got Talent. In 1938 Viola and her saxophonist sister Mildred were able to start an all-girl orchestra called The Coquettes, which performed until 1942 when Mildred got married. The Coquettes is probably what Viola is best known for, with the all-girl swing band scoring several well-known swing tunes during the early days of the war.


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