Barbara Lea was born Barbara Ann Le Cocq in Detroit, Michigan, on April 10, 1929. Her family moved to
the suburb of Melvindale in 1932. Times were bleak in the 1930s and she had her first job at the age of
7 delivering newspapers. She also took piano and tap dancing lessons. She went to public schools in
Melvindale and in Detroit when the family moved back in 1940, and then later attended high school at
Kingswood School Cranbrook.
Barbara's whole family was musical and there were always pianos and ukuleles in the house, which
everyone took turns playing. Her father had been a clarinetist; her brother played trumpet and