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Celtic & Scottish Studies Blog

Celtic & Scottish Studies Blog

Traditional arts, languages and culture in Scotland

Ian Green, founder of Greentrax Recordings

All of the Celtic and Scottish Studies community, past and present, and all with an interest in the unique contents of the Sound Archive at the University of Edinburgh, indeed, all for whom Scottish music has a real meaning, owe a profound debt to Ian Green, founder of Greentrax Recordings Ltd, who passed away on March 10 aged 90.

As he related in his memoir Fuzz to Folk: Trax of My Life  (Edinburgh: Luath Press Ltd, 2011), his passion for the music of Scotland was life-long, from his early days in Morayshire, his family’s relocation to Edinburgh, his time doing National Service and in the regular Army, to 30 years as a policeman, culminating in his founding, with his late wife June, of Scotland’s leading traditional music label in 1986.

He championed seasoned performers as well as up-and-coming singers, instrumentalists and groups, with enthusiasm, encouragement and practical support. He also had a keen interest in the roots and exponents of the tradition, and the creation of the “Scottish Tradition” series – from vinyl to cassette to CD – brought the wealth and variety of the contents of the School of Scottish Studies Sound Archive to local, national and international attention. From bothy ballads to Gaelic psalm singing, Shetland fiddling to border ballads, and much much more,  the field collecting of staff from the foundation of the School in 1950-51 onwards and all those who gave so generously from their funds of tradition is celebrated. Greentrax also placed a focus on individual figures such as Hamish Henderson, and pipers who had inspired following generations. The late Peter Cooke worked closely with Ian from the start to establish this aspect of the rich Greentrax offering, and cherished their collaboration, as have all connected with the School through the years.

We send our deep sympathy to Ian’s family and Greentrax colleagues. His openness and kindness touched countless people through the years and his immense contribution to the carrying stream of our traditional music and its ongoing vigour and evolution is a lasting legacy of Ian’s vision that will live on.


Scottish Tradition Series, Greentrax catalogue



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