Oscar Brand Turns 90!

Join the WNYC family in celebrating host Oscar Brand’s 90th birthday! Whether you just recently discovered Oscar, or are a long-time fan of the folk music legend, send us your birthday wishes to share with Oscar and his many fans.

A two-time Peabody Award winner and Guinness Book's World Record-holder for radio longevity, Oscar Brand has hosted Folksong Festival on WNYC for nearly 65 years. His guest roster includes virtually every famous folk, jazz and blues performer of the post-war period, including Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Woody Guthrie, Arlo Guthrie, Huddie Ledbetter, Joni Mitchell, Judy Collins, Pete Seeger, the Weavers, Burl Ives, Josh White, Harry Belafonte, Odetta, Harry Chapin, and B.B. King. The show has long served as a platform for serious discussions of racial and economic equality, among other issues, and Brand was an early, public and very vocal advocate for integration. 

Folksong Festival turns 65 in December, 2010. WNYC is grateful for the many years of service Oscar has devoted to the show, the station and our audience. Thanks, Oscar and best wishes from all of us!

Be sure to check out the archival audio from Folksong Festival »

Oscar Brand in the studio, 1945
Oscar Brand in the studio, 1945 ( WNYC Archives Collection )
Oscar Brand posing for the press
Oscar Brand posing for the press ( WNYC Archives Collection )
Oscar with folksinger Josh White and calypso singer Lord Burgess. Late 1940s or early 1950s.
Oscar with folksinger Josh White and calypso singer Lord Burgess. Late 1940s or early 1950s. ( WNYC Archives Collection )
Oscar Brand with his guitar
Oscar Brand with his guitar ( WNYC Archives Collection )
Oscar Brand at the 50th anniversary of Folksong Festival in December 1995
Oscar Brand at the 50th anniversary of Folksong Festival in December 1995
Oscar Brand at the 50th anniversary of Folksong Festival in December 1995
Oscar Brand at the 50th anniversary of Folksong Festival in December 1995 ( WNYC Archives Collection )
Christine Lavin, Oscar Brand, and Guy Davis at the 60th anniversary of Folksong Festival
Christine Lavin, Oscar Brand, and Guy Davis at the 60th anniversary of Folksong Festival
Oscar Brand at the 60th anniversary of Folksong Festival
Oscar Brand at the 60th anniversary of Folksong Festival
An unproven urban legend claims Oscar Brand was the inspiration for Oscar the Grouch.
An unproven urban legend claims Oscar Brand was the inspiration for Oscar the Grouch. ( (c) 2010. Sesame Workshop. All Rights Reserved. )
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