Archie Green: A friend to the working class

Archie Green, age 90, died yesterday. Green was most interested in understanding and documenting the culture of working people. His own memories of his work as a shipwright are documented here. Archie Green was known for establishing “laborlore” as an academic study; he was a respected folklorist, scholar, writer, teacher, lobbyist, and champion of the ordinary, everyday worker. He had most recently received the Living Legend Award from the Library of Congress. Green was also a music scholar and aficionado, documenting relationships between music and causes and writing about certain protest singers, like the southeastern Kentucky bard Sarah Ogan Gunning. In 1965, The Journal of American Folklore published his “Hillbilly Music: Source & Symbol.” The article remains a touchstone of country music scholarship, serving as a concise primer on the early development of commercial country music. Read this seminal article in its entirety here. R.I.P.

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