March 11, 2024

Ian Green, 1934-2024

Ian Green, the founder and manager of the Celtic music record label Greentrax, died in Edinburgh on March 10, 2024, at the age of 90.

From the 1980s onward, Greentrax captured almost all of the greatest pipe bands, solo pipers and even solo pipe band drummers of the era, becoming one of the most important records of history’s finest exponents of the art.

Ian Green was an uncommon example of ethics, fair play and sound reputation in an industry notorious for shady companies, iffy contracts and shyster promoters. After starting Greentrax in 1986 following a long career with the Edinburgh City / Lothian & Borders Police force, Green quietly attracted top talent from the Celtic music world.

Ian Green in his Greentrax office, 2006.

Born in Forres, Scotland, in 1934, he was the son of a head gardener who played the Highland pipes. Though not a musician, Ian Green grew up with the sound of good piping and “Bothy”-style nights at his house. When he was 14, his family moved to Edinburgh, and he was called up for National Service at 18, serving in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers in Korea. In 1955, he joined the police, rising as an inspector in 1985.

While with the police, Ian Green admittedly became obsessed with the music of Scotland and started his collection of recordings. He started the Edinburgh Police Folk Club (a.k.a. “Fuzzfolk”) and helped to found the Edinburgh Folk Club. In the 1970s, traditional Scots music was relatively unavailable beyond Jimmy Shand and military pipe bands. Green started Discount Folk Records, a mail order and festival stall service, which built a reputation for service, supplying hard-to-find folk albums. In 1986, he started Greentrax Recordings with funds from the maximum lump sum possible from his police pension.

The first five years of Greentrax saw Ian Green re-investing all profits, ensuring a sound financial base. He quickly became popular with the piping and drumming world. Greentrax took a chance on a rising piping star named Gordon Duncan and produced three recordings with the late piper. Greentrax also worked with Iain MacInnes, the ScottishPower Pipe Band, Simon Fraser University, the Vale of Atholl Pipe Band, Roddy S. MacDonald and many others to create some of the finest piping and drumming recordings ever made.

Ian Green receives his Honourary Doctorate of Music from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, 2006.

The company’s catalogue boasted hundreds of titles. Along the way awards came: in 2005 Ian Green was presented with the Hamish Henderson Services to Traditional Music Award at the Scots Trad Awards and in July 2006 he was awarded, along with Annie Lennox and Billy Connolly, an Honourary Doctorate of Music by the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama.

Ian Green’s contribution to piping and drumming should not be underestimated. In December 2006, we spoke with him for an exclusive three-part pipe|drums Interview.

On behalf of the piping and drumming world, we offer our sympathy to Ian Green’s family, friends and the many recording artists he worked with at this sad time.






Forgotten Password?