Oscar Brand:

An Inventory of His Papers at the University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections

Inventory prepared by Jeff Long
University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections
Winnipeg, Manitoba

Finding aid encoded by Julianna Trivers (January 2003)
Finding aid written in English.

Revision History

  • July 26, 2005 - MSS 80, TC 60 converted from EAD 1.0 to 2002 by v1to02.xsl (sy2003-10-15).

Collection Summary

University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections
Elizabeth Dafoe Library, Winnipeg MB R3T 2M8

Oscar Brand

Oscar Brand fonds


1.2 m of textual records and other materials

MSS 80, TC 60


Return to Top

Biography of Oscar Brand

Oscar Brand was born 7 February 1920 in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He travelled with his family to Minnesota, Chicago, and finally to New York.

Having graduated from Brooklyn College in 1942, he joined the U.S. Army and was cited for his work as Section Chief of a Psychology Unit and, later, the editor of a newspaper for psychiatric patients. After the war he became Co-ordinator of Folk Music for New York's Municipal Station, WNYC, where every week since 1945 he has presented the award-winning program, "Folksong Festival".

His name is to be found among the credits of seventy-five industrial and documentary films such as "Invisible Journey", "Highway By the Sea", "The Farmer Comes To Town", and "Ballad To The Fair", for which he has garnered several awards.

He has scripted and scored ballets for Agnes De Mille and John Bulter, television commercials for radio plays for the National Lutheran Council, musicals for the Methodist Church, a folio of Feast Day Songs for the New York Presbytery, and many documentaries for NBC-TV, CBS-TV, and NET.

He was for four years host and co-producer of Procter and Gamble's Canadian series, "Let's Sing Out", host and co-producer of NET's "American Odyssey", and was a member of the panel which created "Sesame Street". He was Music Director of NBC-TV's "Exploring", "American Treasure Chest", "Sunday", and "The First Look", and collected the Peabody, Ohio State, Edison, and Emmy Awards.

Brand has written, composed, and acted in hundreds of commercials--Cheerios, Rival, Log Cabin, Maxwell House, Oldsmobile, Ipana, etc. His government-sponsored series, "The World of Music", reached 1880 stations, and his CBS radio series of the same name featured such guests as Mischa Elman, Harold Arlen, Yves Montand, and Frank Sinatra.

Brand was Music Director of the critically-acclaimed "In White America", composer of "How To Steal An Election", and, with Paul Nassau, writer and composer of two Broadway musicals, "A Joyful Noise", directed by Dore Shary, and "Hyman Kaplan" directed by George Abbott. He wrote and scored the Kennedy Center's Bicentennial opening musical, "Sing, America, Sing".

He is the Curator of the Songwriters Hall of Fame Museum, author of ten best-selling books and manuals of music, has recorded 80 LPs, written songs for such films as "The Fox", and for Doris Day, Ella Fitzgerald, Harry Belafonte, the Smothers Brothers, Joan Baez, and many others. He has been on the faculty of The New School, New York University, and Hofstra University.

In his long association with the National Public Radio Network, he has been host of "Voices In The Wind", arts interviewer for "Morning Edition", and co-host of the five-hour Sunday Show, called "The Sunday Show". And his concerts for adults and children have earned him such accolades as this from The New York Times : "One of America's best."

Return to Top

Scope and Contents of the Papers

The largest portion of the collection concerns Brand's 1966 Broadway Musical "A Joyful Noise". The collection also includes scripts and other published materials produced by Brand. Currently no photographic collection has been developed and only a small tape collection (TC 60) has been necessary although Brand has hundreds, if not thousands, of tape recordings of interviews and musical presentations still in his possession. Many duplications of the orchestral arrangements were included in the collection. Masters have been retained, but the duplicates have been sent to the Music Library, University of Manitoba libraries, (see separation notice). The collection presently comprises 1.2 meters of shelf space.

The collection contains playscripts with music arrangements, tapes, news clippings, musical scores or recordings of Oscar Brand's work. The tapes include the following: recordings of Gold Rush commissioned from Agnes De Mille by John Houseman; interviews with some of America's leading popular song personalities; a television production of the Kennedy Center Bicentennial Show; and one of the episodes of Brand's NBC-TV series, The Spirit of '76. The playscripts include The Education of Hyman Kaplan (a complete rewrite of the Broadway show) and Thunder Bay, a musical production by Lucille Lortel at The White Barn in Connecticut. Included also are the full musical scores of the Broadway musical A Joyful Noise. Recordings include My Christmas is Best, America Dreamer, Sing Along, and One Hundred Proof Drinking Songs. The collection also contains publicity clippings, announcements of programs, brochures and playbills. Additional material including hundreds of tape recordings of modern singers and artists--their songs and reminiscences--may follow.

Return to Top

Organization of the Papers

This collection is organized into 5 series.

  • "A Joyful Noise" (Broadway Musical), 1966
  • Ballad-Mongers, [ca. 1966]
  • Songs of 76, 1970-1972, [197-?]
  • Singing Holidays, 1942-1989
  • Tape Collection (TC 60), 1959-1988, [19-?]

Return to Top

Restrictions on Access

There are no restrictions on access to this collection.

Return to Top

Restrictions on Use

Users must abide by relevant copyright legislation.

Return to Top

Custodial History

MSS 80 is comprised of many small accessions from Winnipeg born folk singer/songwriter Oscar Brand, received between late 1983 and early 1991.

Return to Top

Detailed Description of the Collection

"A Joyful Noise" (Broadway Musical) 1966
11 "A Joyful Noise": cast programme.
2 "A Joyful Noise": script: rehearsal version.
3 "A Joyful Noise": script: rehearsal version."A Joyful Noise": list of songs & list of instruments required (revised, Nov. 29, 1966).
4 "A Joyful Noise": Instrument manual and schematics, misc. pages of script, and score lists.
Draft Scores:
15 Overture (1)
6 Ballad Maker (2)
7 Travelin' (2) [version A incomplete]
8 Travelin' (2) [version B incomplete]
9 A Joyful Noise (3)
10 Scene Change (3A)
11 Quiet Town (3B)
12 I'm Ready (4)
13 Scene Change (5)
14 Scene Change (5A)
15 I Like to Look My Best (6)
16 Bliss Entrance (6A)
17 A Dollar A Song (7)
18 Not Me Dance (vocal) (8)
19 Not Me Dance (8)
20 Scene Change (8A)
21 Until Today (9) [includes old version]
22 Scene Change (9)
23 Swingin' A Dance (10-10C)
24 Scene Change (10D)
25 To the Top (11)
26 Until Today (12)
27 Joyful Noise Utility (12A)
28 Nashville USA (13)
29 Nashville Utility (13A-13B)
30 All My Life (14)
31 All My Life - Dial (14A)
32 Grand Ole Opry (15)
33 Grand Ole Opry (15A-15B)
34 Clog Dance (15D)
35 Grand Ole Opry/ (15E)
35 Fool's Gold
36 Fool's Gold Utility (15F-17B/18A)
37 Big Guitar (16)
38 Scene Change/Quiet Town (16A)
39 Natural man (17)
40 Natural man (Reprise) (17A)
41 Love Was (18)
42 I Say Yes (New) (19)
43 Unto Thee Oh Lord (19)
44 Scene Change (19A)
45 Long Time Traveling (20)
46 Long Time Traveling (20) (Reprise)
47 Joyful Noise (21)
148 Ballad-Makers (2)
49 Quiet Town (n/a)
50 Not Me (8)
51 Not Me (8)
52 (no title) (n/a)
53 Until Today (9)
54 Swingin' A Dance [pt 1] (10)
55 Swingin' A Dance [pt 3] (10B)
56 Nashville USA (13)
57 Nashville [Utility] (13A)
58 Grand Ole Opry (15B)
59 Big Guitar (16)
60 Love Was (18)
61 I Say Yes (19)
62 Long Time Travelin (20)
Oversize 1 LP's:

My Christmas Best


Singing is Believing

American Dreamer

Scores: Ozalid Masters
Oversize 11 Overture [new] n/a
2 Overture [old] n/a
3 Lord You sure Know How to make A Sunday(1)
4 I could get used to you [Utility] (1A)
5 I Love Nashville [Utility] (1A)
6 Joyful Noise (2)
7 I'm Ready [incid] (2A)
8 I'm Ready [w/ scramble] (3/3A)
9 I'm Ready [Black-out] (3B)
Oversize 21 Springtime of the Year (4)
2 Springtime [underscore] (4A)
3 Longtime Traveling (5)
4 I Like to Look My Best (6)
5 No Talent (7)
6 Not Me Dance [pt. 1] (8)
7 Not Me Dance (8)
8 Until Today (9)
9 Scene Change into Swinging a Dance (10)
10 Swinging a Dance [pt. 1] (10A)
11 Swinging a Dance [pt. 2] (10B)
12 Swinging a Dance [pt. 3] (10C)
13 Swinging a Dance [pt. 4] (10D)
14 Swinging a Dance [pt. 5] (10E)
15 Swinging a Dance [pt. 6] (10F)
16 Swinging a Dance [Coda] (10G)
17 Scene Change out of Swinging A Dance (11)
Oversize 31 To the Top (12)
2 Joyful Noise [Utility] (13)
3 Until Today [Utility] (13)
4 I Love Nashville (14)
5 I Could Get Used to You (15)
6 Whither Thou Goest (16)
7 Whither [underscore] (16A)
8 Two By Fours (16B)
9 We Won't Forget To Write (17)
10 We Won't Forget To Write (17A)
11 Scene Change (18)
12 Grand Ole Opry (18A)
13 Ballad Makers (18B)
14 Clog Dance (18C)
15 Grand Ole Opry/Fool's (18D)
16 Fool's Gold (18E)
17 Big Guitar (19)
18 Big Guitar [exit] (19A)
19 Love Yes (20)
20 I Say Yes (21)
21 Longtime Traveling (21A) [Utility]
22 I Say Yes [exit] (21A)
23 Longtime Traveling (22) Reprise
24 Finale (23)
25 Barefoot Gal (no #)
8 x 11 Ozalid Masters
21 Overture (1)
2 Ballad-Maker (2)
3 Longtime Traveling (2)
4 Longtime Traveling (2) Reprise
5 Joyful Noise (3)
6 Scene Change (3A)
7 Quiet Town [Old] (3B)
8 Quiet Town [New] (3B)
9 I'm Ready (4)
10 I'm Ready [New] (4)
11 Scramble (4A)
12 Scene Change (4A)
13 Scene Change (5A)
14 I Like To Look My Best (6)
15 Bliss Entrance (6A)
16 A Dollar A Song (7)
17 Not Me Dance [New] (8)
18 Not Me Dance [Old] (8)
19 Scene Change (8A)
20 Until Today [New] (9)
21 Until Today [Old] (9)
31 Scene Change (9A)
2 Swingin' A Dance [pt 1] (10)
3 Swingin' A Dance [pt 2] (10)
4 Swingin' A Dance [pt 3] (10)
5 Swingin' A Dance [pt 4] (10)
6 Scene Change (10)
7 Swingin' A Dance [pt 5] (10)
8 Swingin' A Dance [pt 6] (10)
9 Swingin' A Dance [Coda] (10)
10 To The Top (11)
11 Until Today [Utility] (12)
12 Joyful Noise [Utility] (13)
13 Nashville USA (13)
14 I Love Nashville (n/a)
15 Nashville Utility in C (13A)
16 Nashville Utility in D (13A)
17 All My Life (14)
18 All My Life [Dial] (14A)
19 I Could Get Used to You (15)
20 Grand Ole Opry (15)
21 Grand Ole Opry (15A)
22 Grand Ole Opry (15A)
23 Clog Dance (15D)
24 Grand Ole Opry/Fool's Gold (15E)
25 Fool's Gold [Utility] (15F-17B/18A)
26 Big Guitar (16)
41 Scene Change (16A)
2 Natural Man (17)
3 Natural Man Reprise (17A)
4 We Won't Forget To Write (n/a)
5 We Won't ... [Utility] (17A)
6 Love Was [in A flat] (18)
7 Love Was [in G flat] (18)
8 I Say Yes [in C] (19)
9 I Say Yes [New] (19)
10 Joyful Noise Reprise (21)
11 Joyful Noise Reprise New (21)
12 Quiet Man (n/a)
13 Lord You Sure Know How To Make A Sunday (n/a)
14 Scene Change (n/a)
15 No Talent (n/a)
16 No Talent (n/a)
17 Whither Underscore (n/a)
18 Springtime Of The Year (n/a)
19 Springtime Underscore (n/a)
20 Barefoot Gal (n/a)
21 Longtime Traveling Reprise (n/a)
22 Longtime Traveling Utility (n/a)
23 Finale - Act II (n/a)
24 Song List for vocal/piano
8 x 11 Ozalid Vocal/Piano Masters
No Overture
425 Lord You Sure Know How to Make A Sunday (1)
26 (Make A) Joyful Noise (2)
27 I'm Ready (3)
28 Quiet Town (4)
29 Longtime Traveling (5)
30 I Like To Look My Best (6)
31 I Know Talent (7)
32 Not Me (Dance) (8)
33 Until Today (9)
34 Swingin' A Dance (10)
35 To The Top (11)
No Ent'racte
436 I Could Get Used To You (13)
37 Whither Thou Goest (14)
38 We Won't Forget To Write (15)
39 Ballad-Maker (16)
40 Fool's Gold (17)
41 Big Guitar (18)
42 Natural Man (19)
43 Love Was (20)
44 I Say Yes (Yes Yes) (21)
45 I Say Yes (Yes Yes) (21)
Music City
A Dollar A Song
Barefoot Gal (n/a)
446 Unto Thee Lord
All My Life
Won't Gossip
The Music is Ended (n/a)
447 I Love Nashville
Nashville USA
Nashville (Music City) (n/a)
Miscellaneous Handwritten/Printed Masters
448 Quiet Man
Not For Me
Sweet Song of a Young Voice
I Say Yes
L.T.T Underscore
448 All My Life
Grand Ole Opry
Fool's Gold
I'm Ready
Beanpole Song
Into Quiet Town
449 List of Notes and Fixes [as of December 1, 1966].

Return to Top

Ballad-Mongers [ca. 1966]
51 Dust Jacket from The Ballad-Mongers .
2 Manuscript version of The Ballad-Mongers w/ attached letter to Brooklyn College Library, 1966.
3 Manuscript version of The Ballad-Mongers [earlier 3 version].
Oversize 2 Manuscript version of The Ballad-Mongers [earlier 3 version].
54 Draft of dust jacket write-up(?)/news release for The Ballad-Mongers .

Return to Top

Songs of 76 1970-1972, [197-?]
55 Songs of 76: A Folksingers History of the Revolution (New York: M. Evans and Company, Inc. 1972). Includes Brand's address.
6 Notebook re: Songs of 76 : contains table of contents similar to songbook. It is interspersed with notes, prologues to songs, etc.
7 Hardcover Book: contains introduction to Songs of 76 and a narrative for the book. Also contains some related and unrelated correspondence and some sheet music.
8 Songbook: Celebrate (new York: Gypsy Hill Music, 1970).

Return to Top

Singing Holidays 1942-1989
61 Singing Holidays: The Calender in Folk Song.
Oversize 3 Singing Holidays: (music only).
62 Singing Holidays: (drafts).
3 Draft (portion) of Singing Holidays
4 Draft (portion) of Singing Holidays
5 Draft (portion) of Singing Holidays
71 Draft (portion) (intro w/ preface & table of contents.)
2 Draft (portion) songs numbered 1-88.
3 Draft (portion): various songs.
4 Draft (portion): intro w/ various unnumbered songs.
5 Draft (portion): Handwritten version/emendations
6 Correspondence re: Singing Holidays , [ 1955. ]
7 The Folksong Guitar from A-Z pt. 1 June 1959 (draft).
8 Bawdy Songs - 1960 (draft) w/ pen & ink drawings.
79 "Education of Hyman Kaplan" version 1.
10 "Education of Hyman Kaplan" version 2.
11 "The Second Scroll" versions 1.
12 "The Second Scroll" version 2.
81 "Thunder Bay" version 1.
2 "Thunder Bay" version 2.
3 "Thunder Bay" version 3.
4 "Thunder Rock", 1973.
5 "Paul Bunyan and the Termites", 1989.
6 "The Good Ole Days" (Reminisces), Brand, 1942.
Guest Appearances - Files :
87 With Irish Rovers. Includes correspondence, schedules, scripts and signed postcard.
8 At 1981 Songwriters Hall of Fame Awards Dinner of the National Academy of Popular Music. Includes ballot/programme for 1981 awards Dinner, miscellaneous music, script, notes on John Lennon, correspondence, notes on Chuck Berry, miscellaneous notes, notes on international music awards.
9 Playbills/posters etc.
10 Press release re: Songs of 76 (originally held in notebook between p. 81-82. See Box 5, Fd, 7.)
11 Newspaper clippings
12 Programme of Songwriters Hall of Fame presents 20th anniversary CBS TV special from Radio City Music Hall, May 11, 1989.

Return to Top

Tape Collection (TC 60) 1959-1988, [19-?]
1 "Sing Along at Oscar's Place", 1988

VHS video tape. 30 mins, 2 copies.

"100 proof Drinking Songs", 1985

Compact Disk.

"Oscar Brand And Friends: Your Birthday Party", 1985

cassette tape.

"Oscar Brand and Friends: My Christmas is Best", 1985

cassette tape.

"Joyful Noise", [19-?]

120 mins.

"Thunder Bay", [19-?]

120 mins.

"1959 Radio Show and Demille Gold Rush",

60 mins.

Burl Ives (both sides),

45 RPM vinyl record

Return to Top