MTPR

Aaron Parrett

A type of music called “Americana” has been played in Montana for more than two centuries (that we know of) beginning with the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

Aaron Parrett, author of a new book Montana Americana Music: Boot Stomping in Big Sky Country, says " The Corps of Discovery had a high percentage of people of Indian extraction along with them. I think it’s a half or two-thirds were Métis Indian, including Pierre Cruzatte, one of the fiddlers (there were two). And he played a lot of what we would now recognize probably as Métis fiddle tunes."

Chérie Newman: But what, exactly, is Americana music?

Known worldwide as the “Richest Hill on Earth,” Butte, Montana, lured immigrants from every part of the world to sweat in the copper mines that powered America in its Gilded Age. Dozens of writers celebrated this “wide-open town” with impassioned novels of the rugged souls who braved the western frontier at the edge of the Continental Divide.

Cherie Newman

When Aaron Parrett set out to make a list of the literature created in and about Butte, Montana, he discovered something surprising: Contrary to popular belief, Mary McLane was not the first novelist to come out of Butte. The first novel he discovered was published in 1880s by Josephine White Bates.

Clay Scott

5/14/14: This week on "Mountain West Voices:" Mike Williams and Aaron Parrett of Helena, Montana, talk about old time American music, its evolution, and their relationship to the genre.

Aaron Parrett

Nov 27, 2013

10/22/2013 - We live in a culture of commerce, where even higher education is judged in commercial terms:  Will it help get a better-paying job?  Aaron Parrett has a different, old-fashioned view:  It is education i the arts and literature that really counts.