Oscar Brand, the lanky, affable, gravelly-voiced folk singer and songwriter whose weekly on-air hootenanny was the longest-running radio show in history with a single host, died on Friday at his home in Great Neck, N.Y. He was 96.
Doug Yeager, Mr. Brand’s personal manager, said the cause was pneumonia.
In addition to performing and recording prolifically, Mr. Brand wrote books, articles and the scores for Broadway musicals and documentary films. He also hosted television shows. But it was his radio show, “Folksong Festival,” for which he was best known.
Every week for more than 70 years, with the easy, familiar voice of a friend, Mr. Brand invited listeners of the New York public radio station WNYC to his quirky, informal combination of American music symposium, barn dance, cracker-barrel conversation, songwriting session and verbal horseplay. Mr. Brand’s last show aired on Sept. 24, Mr. Yeager said.