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About The Artist
Note: Adapted from American Folklife Center at Library of Congress note of Archie Green's death in 2009.
Born Aaron Green, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, in 1917, Archie moved with his parents to Los Angeles, California, in 1922. He grew up in southern California, began college at UCLA, and transferred to the University of California at Berkeley, where he received a bachelor's degree in political science in 1939. He signed up for the Civilian Conservation Corps, and spent a year in a camp on the Klamath River, where he was a road builder and a firefighter. When his term of service was up, he returned to work in the San Francisco shipyards as a shipwright, and then served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. Returning once again to San Francisco after the war, he learned the carpentry trade and became a member of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, to which he belonged for over sixty-seven years; he was also a Journeyman Shipwright.
As a scholar, Green was best known for his work on occupational folklore and on early hillbilly music recordings. He combined his support for labor and his love of country music in the research that became his first book, Only a Miner (1972). He went on to write many other books: a collection of essays on laborlore (Wobblies, Pile Butts, and Other Heroes, 1993); a work on the stories of laborers (Calf’s Head & Union Tale, 1996); a collection of essays on folklore (“Torching the Fink Books” and other Essays on Vernacular Culture, 2001); a description and analysis of tinsmiths' art, using examples from around the country (Tin Men, 2002); a monograph on millwrights in northern California over the twentieth century (Millwrights in Northern California 1901-2002, 2003); and a collection of essays on the traditional lore of the Sailor's Union of the Pacific (Harry Lundeberg’s Stetson and Other Nautical Treasures, 2006). In addition to these books, Green published articles in Appalachian Journal, the Journal of American Folklore, Labor's Heritage, Musical Quarterly, and other periodicals and anthologies.
Green established an archive for his collected materials in the Southern Folklife Collection at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he also deposited Neuhaus's original materials relating to the IWW. Green has also made contributions to AFC collections, including several reels of labor songs, recordings of his appearances at colloquia and symposia, and a series of interviews about his life and work conducted by AFC folklorist David Taylor.
Archie Green died on March 22, 2009. He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Louanne; three children, Derek, David, and Debra; several grandchildren; and countless students, friends, and admirers.