Oscar Brand

Oscar Brand. Folksinger, collector, songwriter, guitarist, author, b Winnipeg 7 Feb 1920, naturalized US; B SC psychology (Brooklyn College) 1942. He was taken as a boy to the USA and has lived in Minneapolis, Chicago, and New York.

Brand, Oscar

Oscar Brand. Folksinger, collector, songwriter, guitarist, author, b Winnipeg 7 Feb 1920, naturalized US; B SC psychology (Brooklyn College) 1942. He was taken as a boy to the USA and has lived in Minneapolis, Chicago, and New York. Though, he established himself as one of the most popular personalities in US folk music, Brand has maintained his ties to Canada. He was host for the TV hootenany 'Let's Sing Out' (filmed before audiences at Canadian colleges and universities, and seen on CTV 1963-6 and on CBC 1966-7) and for CTV's 'Brand: New Scene' 1966-7. He has performed at the Charlottetown Festival, at Eaton Auditorium and O'Keefe Centre, at the Calgary Stampede, in coffeehouses, and at many folk festivals (eg, Mariposa, as late as 1987).

Often recording theme albums (courting songs, drinking songs, election songs, etc), Brand has made more than 70 LPs in the USA for Audio Fidelity (eg, several volumes of Bawdy Songs & Back Room Ballads, banned in parts of Canada during the early 1960s), Elektra, Riverside, Tradition, and other labels. He has also prepared several published folksong collections; his books include The Ballad Mongers (New York 1962). Brand has written more than 300 songs, among them the popular 'A Guy Is a Guy,' an adaptation of an army song, and collaborated on several musical comedies including A Joyful Noise and The Education of HYMAN, both produced on Broadway.


Further Reading

  • Lawless, Ray. Folksingers and Folksongs in America (New York 1960)

    Lee, Betty. 'Oscar Brand, 20th century troubadour,' Globe Magazine, 3 Nov 1963

    Stambler, Irwin & Landon, Grelun. Encyclopedia of Folk, Country and Western Music (New York 1969)