Oscar Brand

Host, Folksong Festival

Folk balladeer, playwright, producer and musician Oscar Brand has served as the host of Folksong Festival on WNYC AM for more than six decades.  

The program debuted on December 9, 1945 and airs every Saturday at 10 pm in New York City.  According to The Guinness Book of World Records, it is the longest-running radio program with the same host.  In 1995, on its fiftieth anniversary, the program won a prestigious Peabody Award for its contribution to American culture. Through his show, Mr. Brand has championed folk music and has provided a platform for artistic expression for talent such as Woody Guthrie, The Weavers, Huddie Ledbetter, Bob Dylan, Judy Collins, Harry Belafonte, Joan Baez, Phil Ochs, Harry Chapin, Arlo Guthrie, Emmylou Harris, Joni Mitchell, Peter, Paul & Mary, Kingston Trio, Pete Seeger, and many others.

When not presenting Folksong Festival, Oscar Brand is the curator of the Songwriters' Hall of Fame, author of seven best-selling books, has recorded 90 LPs, written songs for Doris Day, Ella Fitzgerald, Harry Belefonte, the Smothers Brothers, and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. He has been on the faculty of The New School, New York University, and Hofstra University. He has a BS in Psychology from Brooklyn College, a Laureate from Fairfield University, and an honorary Doctorate from the University of Winnipeg.

Visit Oscar Brand's website


Oscar Brand appears in the following:

The Origins of the "Star Spangled Banner," in Six Minutes

Friday, September 26, 2014

The Star Spangled Banner turns 200 this month. To commemorate, the inimitable Oscar Brand explains in words and music its origins from a sheep-shearing song to the national anthem.
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Doc Watson Philadelphia Folk Festival circa 1970

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


Join the Archives department in celebrating the life of Doc Watson with this rare interview and performance at the Philadelphia Folk Festival. 

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Squirrel Nutkin

Friday, January 01, 1960

The exact date of this episode is unknown. We've filled in the date above with a placeholder. What we actually have on record is: 196u-uu-uu.

This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.

Starts abruptly.

Vivian ...


Mind Over Music, 1949-08-31

Wednesday, August 31, 1949

This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.

Musical quiz show with the strangely sarcastic John Savage. August 31, 1949(?) The panelists include Walter Hendl, former Assistant Conductor of the New York Philharmonic; Vernon Duke, composer of Cabin in ...


Oscar Brand sings folk songs (Program 112).

Sunday, February 17, 1946

WNYC's 'shoeless troubadour' doing what he does best.