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Presidential Campaign Songs

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Album Review

One of the most thoroughly unique folk records released in 1999, Presidential Campaigning Songs: 1789-1996 is also a thorough and unique look at America's political history. Folk singer Oscar Brand sings campaign songs for each president, from "Follow Washington" to Clinton's campaign theme, Fleetwood Mac's "Don't Stop Thinking About Tomorrow" (simply titled "Don't Stop" on Mac releases). Along with tracing America's political currents, Presidential Campaigning Songs also documents the changing importance of songs in a campaign. The earliest songs, like "For Jefferson and Liberty" and John Q. Adams' "Little Know Ye Who's Coming," reflect the newness of the U.S. and how fresh the struggle for liberty was in people's minds at the time. Similarly, the songs from the Roaring '20s era, such as "Keep Cool and Keep Coolidge" and Warren G. Harding's "If He's Good Enough for Lindy" evoke the decade's free-and-easy prosperity. An important and well-crafted historical document, Presidential Campaigning Songs educates and entertains in equal measure.


Born: 07 February 1920 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Oscar Brand was one of the stalwart American folksingers, writers, and interpreters. Over the course of his 70-some-year career he released over 90 albums. He roamed the country with Woody Guthrie, concertized with Lead Belly, promoted folk of all kinds like Pete Seeger, and hosted the Folksong Festival program on New York's WNYC for over 70 years. Many of his recordings contain parodies on single subjects such as holidays, car songs, or political satire. He was well known for his many collections...
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Presidential Campaign Songs, Oscar Brand
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