Storyteller and musician Bill Rossiter will bring alive the history of the Great Depression through stories, anecdotes, and music on July 21 at the Valley County Pioneer Museum.
Brother Can You Spare a Dime? Laughin’ to Keep from Cryin’ with Bill Rossiter
Bill Rossiter named his show – “Brother Can You Spare a Dime?”- after a song about a World War I veteran who’s paid his dues to the American Dream and asks where his dividend is. Suddenly the American Dream has “turned into a nightmare.” The song “became almost an anthem for a whole generation of people.”
“Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?” views the Depression, with a glance at Montana’s early start, not through history and literature, but through songs and “illiterature,” looking at what happened to the common folks most affected by it. This bare-knuckle report on the state of the union during the Dirty ’30s is accompanied by banjo, guitar, and autoharp. Audience members are encouraged to share personal or family stories about coping with hard times through humor, ingenuity, and “cussedness.”