Aaron ”Archie” Green R I P
Yesterdays Guardian carrys an obituary (by Tony Russell) to Archie Green, an American folklorist and chronicler of working-class culture, who died in March at age 91.
He devoted his life to this work, gaining a PhD in folklore, writing, lecturing and interveiwing old and young alike, inspiring all around him, always ready to advise, he was the ‘folklorists’ favourite uncle’. He gained academic status for the subject, lobbying for the American Folklife Preservation Act (1976) which set up the American Folklife Center, from which he recieved the Living Legend award in 2007.
Music featured in his reseach (it dosn’t say that he played), running folk music courses in the 1960’s, and wrote a seminal essay ‘Hillbilly Music: Sourse and Symbol’ in the Journal of American Folklore (1965). He also looked at coal workers songs, commercial music and art, and co-edited The Big Red Songbook, culminating sixty years of published songs (originally in the Littlle Red Songbooks) by the Industrial Workers of the World. Now that is saying something.