Abe Green

Biography by

Abe Green is yet another of the accomplished guitarists whose surname matches the color of a healthy front lawn. This Green's genre of choice was gospel music, but his career was cut short by a decision…
Read Full Biography

Artist Biography by

Abe Green is yet another of the accomplished guitarists whose surname matches the color of a healthy front lawn. This Green's genre of choice was gospel music, but his career was cut short by a decision to find alternate means of supporting his family. Otherwise, he might have gone on to be a standard bearer in R&B or even rock & roll. As it was, Green had already been given the go light by a series of local bands by the time he was offered a job with the Dixieaires, the gospel ensemble he devoted the largest portion of his career to. In gospel, Green had by the late '40s already colored in accompaniments for both the Gates and the Jubalaires. He also had played in a popular style known as jive -- musical ensembles purveying such were even known as "jive units." Green's jive unit, also in the second half of the '40s, was glowingly known as the Rays of Sunshine.

The Dixieaires, however, was the first group Green had been in that spent more time in recording studios than their own homes. In some people's minds -- if lawyers and record company managers can be said to have minds -- Green and company were maybe doing too much recording. At one point, affiliations with six or seven different labels were in place. One way to discern membership in the Dixieaires is to check legal filings during the height of the group's popularity. In the spring of 1949, Green is named along with others considered official members at that time as unfair for someone desiring to record the Dixieaires in threatening correspondence about the share between rival record labels. Hands off, also, on Johnny Hines, Julius Caleb Ginyard, Jimmy Moran and Tom Moran.

By the end of that year things were already cooling off for the group. At one point there had been more recording contracts than group members, a desirable state of affairs. Then the majority tilted the other way, prefacing a state of attrition begun by manager Charles Newsome officially announcing that he no longer wished to be in the Dixieaires. Next to go away was Green. In the recollections of Ginyard, all the other members not only dropped out of the group but basically left professional music, as well. Ginyard continued but not so much in gospel -- his next major project was an R&B band, the Du Droppers. The finest recording of Green's marvelous guitar style was done for the Prestige label in 1951, and included the heavy duty "Bloodstained Banner." Green is also the guitarist on the Golden Gate Quartet's recording of "Dip Your Fingers in the Water"