Celebrity is a fascination for most of us, yet often an elusive and misunderstood phenomenon. To know Toni Carroll is to know a celebrity and, more importantly, to know a defining example of the phenomenon. In the best American tradition, Toni Carroll has both earned and achieved the status through an invigorating blend of genuine talents, unique drive, an abundance of purpose, worthwhile hard work and the magical elixir of style and presence. These elements in unique proportion define Celebrity and Toni Carroll.
To know a bit about her is to absorb another example of the steps to success and attainment. Toni, of Italian heritage, was born in St. Louis, MO, in an ethnic neighborhood known as “The Italian Hill.” Her early years to age 8 were spent in Italy. Her close and loving family recognized a natural talent for music so our heroine was advantaged by tuition in voice and solfeggio lessons through grade school and later more formal studies at the Kroeger School of Music. All the while she performed in St. Louis for family, friends, and at school, refining and developing her gifts. But that didn't happen all at once and there’s more to the story.
With an abundance of courage and needing to be discovered, Toni Carroll went to New York City and applied for a job at the famous and fabulous Copacabana nightclub at 10 E. 60 th St. Her mentor, Doug Coudy from St. Louis, and choreographer at the Copa recalled: … “she came to the club with a scrapbook of news articles about me and my work, her opening lines were, ‘Hi, I’m Toni Carroll from St. Louis, do you think I’m pretty enough to be a Copa Girl?’”
The rest is history. Toni Carroll became a Copa Girl and Latin Quarter Singer with a brilliant career as an entertainer, night-club performer and ‘million selling’ recording artist for MGM Records and RCA Victor.
She recalls the Copa days as a period of growth and development, especially because of the influence of the inspirational artists whom she knew and absorbed. The great starts: Sammy Davis Jr., Jimmy Durante, Lena Horne, Martin and Lewis, Frank Sinatra and more made the goal of stardom ever brighter and reachable. Toni Carroll appreciates and remembers all who gave of themselves to assist her.