Clinch Mountain Echo

Various Artists - The World Of Folk Music Starring Oscar Brand

(No Label #209) 1965

The World Of Folk Music Starring Oscar Brand

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I learnt about this rare disc from Gary B. Reid's The Music Of The Stanley Brothers book.

The "World Of Folk Music Starring Oscar Brand" was a series of 15min recordings made for Radio by the US Department Of Health, Education And Welfare. Artists featured in the series included The Clancy Brothers, Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs, Jean Ritchie, Hedy West and on Show # 209 - The Stanley Brothers... They all seem to have had the same generic label design, and according included sections by folkie Oscar Brand, narrative pieces about Social Security Administration, and songs by the guest artists.

The disc featuring the Stanley Brothers, includes versions of How Mountain Girls Can Love and Stone Walls And Steel Bars, along with a folk tune by Oscar Brand The Erie Canal Juba-Ju[1] and an variation of Yankee Doodle sent in by a listener from New Haven with lines like "We'll make the British skip and dance, because of that they're handy".

Oscar introduces the band saying:- "And now we're gonna take a long trip down the Erie Canal down to the canals of Florida, where among the exports of the great state of Florida, today's guests - The Stanley Brothers. They're well know to Florida television audiences, by recordings and personal appearance tours. They've been heard by country music fans all over the United States. Today we're delighted to welcome Ralph, Carter & Harold Stanley and Richard Lambert to the 'World Of Folk Music'."

Oscar:- "I understand that you act as kind of spokesperson for the group"

Carter:- "That's right Oscar, I am the spokes-person I guess for the group, and we'd like to do a number here on the program today. It's a pleasure to be with you and this number that we're gonna try is one that we wrote a few years back, recorded, and get a lot of calls for it around all the country where we go. A little thing called 'How Mountain Gals Can Love'.

There then follows a decent enough version of Mountain Girls...

Oscar:- Well now we know, if we didn't before, 'How Mountain Girls Can Love'.

After that there is a narrated 'social security case history' of a Wisconsin farming family in which a mother & her two sons are simultaneously receiving social security retirement benefit, with social security experts Roy Swift and Wallace Kendal. This mentions a benefit application made by the family on 2nd Feb 1965, so dates the disc to that year.

Oscar:- "...Stanley Brothers, if you're ready with another song, we're ready to listen."

Carter:- "All right, thank you very much Oscar. It's nice to be back and our next number is another one of our record songs. We didn't write it but we recorded it and get a lot of calls for it around all the country where we play, and we'd like to try it for you here & now, one called 'Stone Walls and Steel Bars'... Ralph.

The then follows a performance of Stone Walls which sounds a little unpolished, but is still nice to hear!

Oscar:- The Stanley Brothers, recreating their recording of 'Stone Walls'. Thank y'all for being with us.

Carter:- It sure has been nice Oscar, visiting with y'all again, bye bye now.

I must admit I haven't heard anything by Oscar Brand before, but from a quick internet search it seems he was a prolific and well-regarded folk artist and broadcaster. He was one of the original organisers of the 1959 Newport Folk Festival & can be heard introducing the Stanley Brothers on stage.[2] According to Wikepedia his weekly radio show Oscar Brand's Folksong Festival aired on WNYC-AM 820 in New York City for 70 years!

Harold 'Red' Stanley later told Gary Reid that they had "journeyed to New York to record the program". Gary also tells us that Curley Lambert had rejoined the group by the 9th May 1965 when the Stanley's made an appearance at Sunset Park (along with Red Stanley & Jack Cooke). By June 5th, when the Bluegrass Gospel Favorites (Cabin Creek) album was recorded, Sonny Miller had taken over on fiddle. This suggests that this 'World Of Folk Music' recording was probably done between May 9th and June 5th 1965.

Huge thanks to Gary Reid for all the info on this one!


For a detailed breakdown and background to the Stanley's session, check Gary B. Reid's The Music Of The Stanley Brothers book, pages 190 and 227.

How Mountain Girls Can Love

Ruby Rakes
Stone Walls And Steel Bars

Ray Pennington / Roy E. Marcum

Go To Top Of Page [1] see 'The Erie Canal Sings' by Bill Hullfish.
[2] See the 'Clinch Mountain Bluegrass' CD.