Folk singer/songwriter Oscar Brand has died, aged 96.
The Canadian star passed away at his home in Great Neck, New York on Friday (30Sep16) from pneumonia, his personal manager Doug Yeager confirmed to the New York Times.
Brand is best known for hosting radio show Folksong Festival, which aired on New York station WNYC and was reportedly certified as the longest-running radio show in history with a single host by the Guinness World Records. He presented a show every week for more than 70 years with his last one airing in September (16). He enjoyed guest appearances from Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan, Emmylou Harris, and the late B.B. King, to name a few, but never had a contract with WNYC and was never paid for his work.
Brand was presented with a Peabody Award in 1995 in recognition of “more than 50 years in service to the music and messages of folk performers and fans around the world.”
He was also an accomplished singer/songwriter who composed at least 300 songs and around 80 albums, scored ballets, TV show theme songs, commercials, documentary films and wrote the music and lyrics with Paul Nassau to two short-lived Broadway shows - A Joyful Noise and The Education of H*Y*M*A*NK*A*P*L*A*N.
Brand also appeared onscreen, hosting children's TV shows The First Look and Spirit of ’76, 1960s Canadian TV series Let’s Sing Out and as himself in the 1965 film Once Upon a Coffee House.
He is survived by his wife of 46 years, Karen and their son Jordan, and three other children; Jeannie, Eric and James, from a previous marriage.