Wednesday, July 13, 2011


The song "Brother, Can You Spare A Dime" was nearly the national anthem during the Great Depression. No other song personifies what was going on during the 30s quite like that song. Written in 1931 by lyricist E. Y. "Yip" Harburg and composer Jay Gorney, "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?" was part of the 1932 musical New Americana; the melody is based on a Russian lullaby Gorney heard as a child. It became best known, however, through recordings by Bing Crosby and Rudy Vallee. Both versions were released right before Franklin Delano Roosevelt's election to the presidency and both became number one hits on the charts. The Brunswick Crosby recording became the best-selling record of its period, and came to be viewed as an anthem of the shattered dreams of the era.

Although I think Bing's version is the best, but the following radio transcription by Al Jolson is a close second. Jolson's version contains all of the anguish and heartache that all of America was feeling at the time...

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