Ian Green founded Greentrax Recordings in 1986, just one year after he retired as a Police Inspector from Lothian and Borders Police, with his wife June as co-director. Operating from home at first, the business grew rapidly and moved to its long-term home at Cockenzie Business Centre. One of the aims of the new label was to give highly talented but unrecorded Scottish musicians and singers an opportunity to reach wider audiences and, 35 years on, close on 500 albums have been released by Greentrax – an astonishing achievement.
Recent years haven’t always been easy. June Green died in 2017, a severe loss to Ian. Then, as the CD market shrunk and the popularity of digital downloading/streaming rose, Ian was forced to streamline the company to meet modern demands. However, in-house mail order sales increased dramatically with the demise of so many record shops in the last few years, and download sales, which were slow initially in picking up, have lately produced a good return.
Ian and Greentrax have received several awards over the 35 years: an Honorary Degree of Doctorate of Music from the Royal Conservatoire; The Hamish Henderson Award For Services to Traditional Music and entry into The Hall of Fame from the Scots Trad Awards; Chamber of Commerce, East Lothian Business Annual Achievement Award for Good Business Practices; Hands Up For Trad Landmark Award, and more.
Ian says that the most frequently asked question he hears is… “When are you going to retire?” But he says that retirement is a word that he doesn’t understand and, in any case, there is so much more to be done to promote Scottish traditional music.
Greentrax’s 35th anniversary is being celebrated with the re-release of the very first Greentrax compilation album, Music And Song Of Scotland, originally released in 1989, now with a bonus track added in memory of the amazing composer and piper, the late Gordon Duncan, a good friend of Ian’s. Congratulations Ian and all at Greentrax for reaching this important milestone.