Oscar Brand fonds

Call Number: Mss 80, Tc 60

Title: Oscar Brand fonds.

Dates: 1942-1989.

Extent: 1.2 m of textual records and other material.

Biographical sketch: Oscar Brand was born in Winnipeg, the son of a Portage La Prairie pioneer. He spent his childhood alternately in Winnipeg, Minneapolis, Chicago, and New York. On completion of his service with the United States army in 1945, he took a position with a New York radio station where he began his professional singing career. His programs, Folksong Festival and The World of Folk Music became award-winning shows. Brand went on to become the music director of NBC-TV's weekly children's programme. He lectured weekly at New York University and occupied the rest of his time recording, writing, and composing. He has worked on several radio shows and films in Washington, New York, and Toronto.

Custodial history: The fonds was donated to University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections by Oscar Brand in several instalments between 1983 and 1991.

Scope and content: The collection contains playscripts with music arrangements, tapes, news clippings, musical scores and recordings of Oscar Brand's work. The tapes include: 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.

Restrictions: There are no restrictions on this material.

Accruals: Additional accruals to this fonds may be anticipated.

Finding aid: A printed finding aid is available in the Archives reading room and an on-line finding aid is available at the link below:

MSS 80, TC 60.