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  • Smithsonian Folkways Remembers Oscar Brand (1920-2016)

    Smithsonian Folkways mourns the passing of folk singer and radio show legend Oscar Brand (1920–2016), who died on September 30, 2016, at the grand age of 96. From 1945 until September 24, 2016, Brand hosted the Guinness World Records certified longest-running radio show with a single host, the WNYC station’s “Folksong Festival.” As the New York Times aptly put it, “Anyone who was anyone in folk music dropped by,” like The Weavers and Folkways greats Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Lead Belly, and many others. Brand himself was the recipient of a Peabody Award in 1995 celebrating “more than 50 years in service to the music and message of folk performers and fans around the world” and for providing “more than an open microphone for the American folk music scene…to present music and artists who were considered politically unpopular, even seditious.”