Obit: Archie Green (22 March 2009)-Memorial Jun 21
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Obit: Archie Green (22 March 2009)-Memorial Jun 21

Mark Ross 24 Mar 09 - 11:07 AM
GUEST,MaryJoy 24 Mar 09 - 10:15 AM
Art Thieme 23 Mar 09 - 11:59 PM
Michael S 23 Mar 09 - 05:58 PM
Jack Campin 23 Mar 09 - 04:50 PM
GUEST,DWR 23 Mar 09 - 04:00 PM
Mark Ross 23 Mar 09 - 02:05 PM
Michael S 23 Mar 09 - 01:58 PM
Mark Ross 23 Mar 09 - 01:15 PM
Michael S 23 Mar 09 - 01:02 PM
Art Thieme 23 Mar 09 - 12:48 PM
Goose Gander 23 Mar 09 - 11:29 AM
Big Mick 23 Mar 09 - 11:19 AM
Mark Ross 23 Mar 09 - 11:12 AM
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Subject: RE: Obit: Archie Green (22 March 2009)
From: Mark Ross
Date: 24 Mar 09 - 11:07 AM


As a long time member(38 years)of the IWW, I would appreciate if you would e-mail me at;

to talk about this book. I was also a friend of Archies'.

Mark Ross

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Subject: RE: Obit: Archie Green (22 March 2009)
From: GUEST,MaryJoy
Date: 24 Mar 09 - 10:15 AM

Mentor, inspiration, friend — I will miss him more than words can say. Archie was the wind behind these last years of my long research for a biography of Vincent St. John. Archie and his dearest pal, Henry, loved "Vint" as much as I. We three discussed and plotted and planned — and in the end I had hoped to have the book completed so Archie could read it. His eyes were failing, but his spirit was brighter than ever. I'm coming in close to the finish line... but Archie took flight.

He will remain my inspiration and take me to the sky, for he would never want any of us to keep our feet on the ground in sorrow, although our hearts ache with his absence. Gentle, laughing, guiding, delightful spirit -- Archie will be with us always. The biography is dedicated to him and to Henry.

Let your wings reach the sun, Archie!


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Subject: RE: Obit: Archie Green (22 March 2009)
From: Art Thieme
Date: 23 Mar 09 - 11:59 PM

In the book, Archie had some very nice things to say about tapes I made of then 93 year old Wobbly named Paul Durst in 1961. It was great to see Paul get his due---or at least some of it.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Archie Green
From: Michael S
Date: 23 Mar 09 - 05:58 PM

This article, discussing Archie's work with The Big Red Songbook is, to me, a bit livelier than the also informative Wiki entry.

Michael Scully

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Subject: RE: Obit: Archie Green
From: Jack Campin
Date: 23 Mar 09 - 04:50 PM

Update of the Wikipedia piece by Tim Lloyd of the AFS:

Archie Green (June 29, 1917 ? March 22, 2009) was a scholar of
laborlore, defined as the special folklore of workers. He gathered and
commented upon the speech, stories, songs, emblems, rituals, art,
artifacts, memorials, and landmarks which constitute laborlore. After
many years of tireless volunteer advocacy, he won Congressional
support for passage of the American Folklife Preservation Act of 1976
(P.L. 94-201), which established the American Folklife Center. A
Fellow of the American Folklore Society, he also received the Benjmain
Botkin Prize for outstanding achievement in public folklore from the
American Folklore Society. In August 2007 he received the Living
Legend award from the American Folklife Center of the Library of

Born Aaron Green in Winnipeg, Manitoba, he 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, from which he received a bachelor's degree in 1939. He
then worked in the San Francisco shipyards and served in the U.S. Navy
during World War II. He was a member of the United Brotherhood of
Carpenters and Joiners of America for over sixty-seven years and was a
Journeyman Shipwright.

Green enrolled in graduate school in 1958, earning an M.L.S. degree
from the University of Illinois in 1960 and a Ph.D. in folklore from
the University of Pennsylvania in 1968. He combined his support for
labor and love of country music in the research that became his first
book, Only a Miner. Green joined the University of Illinois at
Urbana-Champaign in 1960, where he held a joint appointment in the
Institute of Labor and Industrial Relations and the English Department
until 1972. Working as a senior staff associate at the AFL-CIO's Labor
Studies Center in the early 1970s, he initiated programs presenting
workers' traditions at the Smithsonian Institution's Festival of
American Folklife on the National Mall. He became known for his work
on occupational folklore and on early old-time music recordings.

In 1975 he joined the faculty of the University of Texas at Austin. He
was awarded the Bingham Humanities Professorship at the University of
Louisville in 1977, and was a Woodrow Wilson Center fellow in
Washington, DC, in 1978. His articles have appeared in Appalachian
Journal, Journal of American Folklore, Labor's Heritage, Musical
Quarterly, and other periodicals and anthologies. He retired from the
University of Texas at Austin in June 1982, and established an archive
for his collected materials in the Southern Folklife Collection at the
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

In retirement from teaching, Green continued to write and publish the
results of years of research. He completed books on tinsmiths' art,
using examples from northern California (Tin Men, 2002); a monograph
on millwrights in northern California over the twentieth century
(2003), and a collection of essays on the Sailor's Union of the
Pacific (2006). Most notable has been the 2007 publication of The Big
Red Songbook, featuring the lyrics to the 190 songs included in the
various editions of the Industrial Workers of the World's Little Red
Songbooks from 1909 to 1973. Green inherited the project from John
Neuhaus, a machinist and Wobbly who devoted years to collecting a
nearly complete set of the IWW songbooks and determining what music
the songs had been set to. When Neuhaus died of cancer in 1958, he
gave his unique collection of songbooks, sheet music and other
materials to Green, who vowed to carry on Neuhaus's vision of a
complete edition of IWW songs. Green deposited Neuhaus's original
materials in the folklife archive at the University of North Carolina.

At home in San Francisco, Green served as secretary of the nonprofit
Fund for Labor Culture & History. Founded in July 2000, the Fund has
worked with the National Trust for Historic Preservation to identify
labor landmarks in San Francisco and install commemorative plaques,
supported the publication of books on , labor songs and historic labor
landmarks, prepared guides to films on skilled union craftsmen, and
helped the United Mine Workers restore the Ludlow Monument in Colorado.

Books by Archie Green:

Only a Miner: Studies in Recorded Coal-Mining Songs (University of
Illinois Press, 1972)

Wobblies, Pile Butts, and Other Heroes (University of Illinois Press, 1993).

Songs About Work (Indiana University Folklore Institute, 1993).

Calf's Head & Union Tale (University of Illinois Press, 1996).

Torching the Fink Books & Other Essays on Vernacular Culture (The
University of North Carolina Press, 2001).

Tin Men (University of Illinois Press, 2002).

Millwrights in Northern California, 1901-2002 (Northern California
Carpenters Regional Council, 2003).

Harry Lundeberg's Stetson & Other Nautical Treasures (Crockett, CA:
Carquinez Press, 2006).

Co-editor, The Big Red Songbook (Chicago: Charles H. Kerr Publishing
Co., 2007).

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Subject: RE: Obit: Archie Green
Date: 23 Mar 09 - 04:00 PM

Oh, my. Archie Green was my first real introduction to what's behind the curtain. Of course, later on there was Dr. William K. McNeil, whom I knew personally and Charles K. Wolfe who I knew through Dr. Bill. Giants in the field. I never knew Archie except through his work and more's the pity. I know I would have liked him, too.

All three of those men carried with them things we will never know. Yes, Giants.

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Subject: RE: Obit: Archie Green
From: Mark Ross
Date: 23 Mar 09 - 02:05 PM

Here's a link to Archies' entry on Wikipedia

Archie Green Wikipedia

Mark Ross

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Subject: RE: Obit: Archie Green
From: Michael S
Date: 23 Mar 09 - 01:58 PM

Mark-- that is my book. The last time I saw Archie -- maybe a year-plus since I'm no longer in SF--he gave me a bound reprint of his seminal article from the '50s on hillbilly music. I wish I had asked him to sign it. Did he sign your stuff in green ink? He sent me a few notes with that green signature-- an endearing affectation. Through a third party who's talked to Archie's son, I learned that the family understands the need to have some public memorial in the future. If you learn of that, would you post the info here or PM me, and I'll do the same for you. I hope this note hasn't gotten too personal for the Cat, but for those Catters who don't know of Archie, read his Wikipedia page and learn about an interesting guy.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Archie Green
From: Mark Ross
Date: 23 Mar 09 - 01:15 PM

Don't apologize, it's wonderful to hear from you. Archie was a force of nature. It was always a pleasure to be around him. I got him up to Butte Montana for the commemoration of the Speculator Mine disaster and dedication of a monument to that terrible tragedy. June, but it started snowing(it does that in Butte). Didn't faze Archie at all, though he was starting to get short of breath from the altitude and lack of oxygen(he had asbestosis). And back at the house he would interrogate me on what I was doing and where did all these people come from, and how did they make a living, etc. It was a memorable time. I also got him to autograph my copies of his books. He said he'd never had the chance to sign all of them at once for one person and he was tickled pink. Unfortunately, I would have liked to get his signature on THE BIG RED SONGBOOK when I would be in the Bay area in June, but I guess it's too late now.

Mark Ross

Ps.Michael, Is this your book?
The Never-Ending Revival (ISBN: 0252033337 / 0-252-03333-7)
Michael F. Scully
(Avenel, NJ, U.S.A.)

Book Description: University of Chicago press.

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Subject: RE: Obit: Archie Green
From: Michael S
Date: 23 Mar 09 - 01:02 PM

I feel a tremendous loss. I spoke to Archie for the last time about one month ago, and right now I'm very sorry that I did not check in every single day. He was a great intellect, a great friend, a great person, and he will be long remembered.

I met Archie in the early 90s when I was living and practicing law in San Francisco. I was bored with work. I was already a "folk music fan" (broadly defined), and I was beginning a strange journey that involved (initially) self-education into more academic ideas of tradition and heritage. I met Ron Cohen, historian of the folk music revival, and he encouraged me to call Archie Green. "He lives 5 minutes from you and he's in the book." I checked Archie's first book, Only A Miner, out of the library, read it, and called him. For what, I don't know. To meet and learn from a cool guy. "Come over tomorrow morning," he said.

I went over and we talked for three hours. Archie understood that I wanted to learn stuff he knew, and he said something like, "let's start with minstrelsy for the moment." Minstrelsy? What's this got to do with Phil Ochs?

I learned, and we had many such meetings. Sometimes we drove to the SF Marina, sat on a bench, looked out at the Bay and Archie--a WW II era shipwright--told me about the boats. At his home, we'd talk for a long time and then Archie would get restless, and announce out of nowhere, "well, this has been a great talk, time to go," and I'd be on the steps in 30 seconds. I learned to read the signals. One day I saw the restlessness and began to take my leave, when Archie announced, "I'm starving. Let's see what's in the kitchen." He cooked us omelettes filled with veggies. I felt as if I'd crossed a barricade.

A running gag among Archie's friends was, "have you seen the Archie Green doll? Wind it up and it introduces people to each other." He always wanted people to connect. He knew it made for better work and he just liked for people to be together. At an academic conference in North Carolina Archie grabbed me and introduced me to some grad student. He said "Michael, you have to talk to Joe here. Joe's doing great, cutting edge work." He then wandered off and left me with "Joe." "How long have you known Archie?" I said. "I met him about an hour ago," said Joe. "He has no idea what I'm doing."

When I told Archie I wanted to write a book about folk music, he didn't laugh or grimace, though the idea was preposterous. He asked what about, and then he read chunks of text that I'd send him. At the International Country Music Conference in Nashville, 2005, he cornered Judy McCullough, long time editor for the University of Illinois Press. "Judy, this is Michael," as he pulled me in front of her. "You have to publish his book." She squirmed, smiled, talked to me a bit, told me how hard the publishing business had become, and three years later, Illinois published my book.

Archie's public intellectual life reached back to the 1950s. He led the Campus Folksong Club at the University of Illinois, was involved in the earliest University of Chicago Folk Festivals. As Mark wrote above, he led the effort to establish the American Folklife Center. He was a champion of the working man and the labor movement, and a staunch anti-communist leftie. He used to say that the organized left didn't understand that working people were more taken with Hank Williams than with Woody Guthrie. In our last talk, he told me he wanted to involve himself in efforts to make certain that the Obama arts policy included recognition of vernacular culture. He was calling people to make sure everyone he knew would get on board.

He was a wonderful man, and a great man.

Sorry for the length.

Michael Scully

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Subject: RE: Obit: Archie Green
From: Art Thieme
Date: 23 Mar 09 - 12:48 PM

The University of Chicago Folk Festival---He and I were walking around the campus between festival sessions in 1961 or '62. I was real young--20 or 21 years old and I couldn't get the idea of what he was trying to tell me about how to write a paper with substance on a particular song. So Archie gave me a copy of one of his own papers on the Carter Family and their song "The Coal Miner's Blues." I'm holding it right now having just retrieved it from being inserted inside the voluminous book he wrote---ONLY A MINER. (University Of Illinois Press) That small pamphlet became a primer for me to look at when I was serious about writing any treatise on other songs.

I have good memories of Archie Green. Definitely, he was important to me as an early influence. Thanks Mr. Green!

Art Thieme

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Subject: RE: Obit: Archie Green
From: Goose Gander
Date: 23 Mar 09 - 11:29 AM

Archie Green was a talented folklorist, an engaging writer and a great person. He gave me some sound advice when I was working on my MA thesis a few years back. He will be missed.

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Subject: RE: Obit: Archie Green
From: Big Mick
Date: 23 Mar 09 - 11:19 AM

He will be missed. I ordered the Big Red Songbook as soon as it came out (from CAMSCO)and it is a treasure. This is why it is so important to collect all the knowledge you can from these living treasures. Then you have to pass it on.

Rest well,


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Subject: Obit: Archie Green
From: Mark Ross
Date: 23 Mar 09 - 11:12 AM

It is my sad duty to report that my old friend Archie Green passed away on Saturday. He was 92 years old and had been failing for a couple of months. The doctor told him that his heart and kidneys were wearing out, and Archie decided that it was time. He died at home in his sleep with his family around him. Archie had been a shipwright and carpenter who went into academia. He was the author of many books on the subject of working class culture, among them ONLY A MINER, and THE BIG RED SONGBOOK. He was also considered the Godfather of the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.
It was his lobbying efforts that helped push the legislation through to passage.
I would calll him from time to time to ask a question or tell him a new story, or just to get his opinion on something or other. When the economy started to collapse last year I asked, "Archie, are you getting a feeling of deja vu?" He just laughed. Despite the asbestosis contracted from working in the shipyards many years ago he was tireless and indefatigible in his search for truth and insight.
I will miss him.

Mark Ross

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