Entering her nineties, Barbara Carroll could boast that she had been playing piano for over 85 years. Not without a pause to sleep and eat, obviously, but with a determination that might suggest such extremes. Born Barbara Carole Coppersmith, she began the instrument at only five years old and went on to classical training three years later, eventually graduating from the New England Conservatory. In terms of professional stagecraft, her initial training ground was a USO tour during World War II in which she was part of an all-girl trio. This was quickly followed by leading her own trio on New York City's famous lane of jazz, 52nd Street, where she adopted a variation of her middle name, Carole, as a stage name. The pianist was associated with such fine players as guitarist Chuck Wayne and bassist Clyde Lombardi, but what would develop ...
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