Burl Ives has been inseparably associated with the title song of his early record album. The Wayfaring Stranger, and indeed he deserves his vast reputation as a peripatetic folklore collector. His uncle, Dr. Sam Ivanhoe -- a descendant of Samson tele, prototype of the ""Uncle Sam"" cartoons -- nurtured in young Ives a curiosity in the legends, fables, and sagas of America's past, which fell in nicely with a tripartite career as actor, singer, and student of the stuff of which ballads are made. The habit of notebook jotting preserved the best of what has come to Ives' attention over the years: sentimental or humorous anecdotes about heroes of history, pirates, emigrants, slavery, frontier life, the American flag, the Revolution and the War of 1812, the gold rush, the Mormons, the Salem witches and Major Andre, Dickens and de Toqueville. There are topical verses, eighteenth and nineteenth century tombstone epitaphs and other eulogies, and throughout, the lyrics of folksongs well- and little-known. This charming and ageless own history includes both a Broadway hit (he appeared as Big Daddy in a Hot folksongs records that get played on popular radio programs. He has again.