Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Brand moved to the United States as a child, but was always aware of his Canadian roots, returning to Manitoba many times. An ambassador for folk music, Brand hosted the first Mariposa Festival and also hosted Let’s Sing Out for CTV and CBC, welcoming such guests as Judy Collins, Arlo Guthrie, Joni Mitchell, Paul Simon and Gordon Lightfoot.
A Guy is a Guy is an adaptation of a Royal navy song entitled, A Gob Is a Slob, which Brand learned from some North Atlantic Royal Navy sailors in Montreal. It was originally based on a 1719 British tune entitled A Knave is a Knave.
A Guy is a Guy was written for and recorded by Doris Day in 1952, quickly going to the #1 spot on the Billboard charts, selling thousands sheet music copies, and giving Day her fourth million-selling record…and all from a song that was once a bawdy soldiers’ tune.
A true journeyman, Brand has written over 1000 songs, recorded over 100 LPs and is the author of four best-selling books of folksong collections. He is credited with work on over 300 documentaries, and has won an Emmy Award for one of his NBC-TV shows, two Peabody Awards and one Lifetime Award, shared with Oprah Winfrey.