If you look through Oscar Brand’s catalog on Spotify, you’ll find a host of curious titles such as 100 Proof Drinking Songs and Bawdy Songs Goes to College. But since we’re in a presidential election year that’s in particular need of humor, I’ve included a track from Brand’s Presidential Campaign Songs, 1789-1996.
While Brand (February 7, 1920-September 30, 2016) recorded many albums as a singer-songwriter and folk archivist, his enduring record is as a radio personality. For 70 years, he was host of WNYC’s “Folksong Festival,” which earned him a Guinness World Record as the “Longest-running radio programme by the same host.” (More lofty awards include several Peabodys and an Artistic Achievement Award from the Winnipeg Folk Festival.)
During his long tenure at the radio show, he hosted a who’s who of folk greats, including Woody Guthrie, the Weavers, Harry Belafonte and Bob Dylan.