© 2017 Gary Green Productions, Inc.

After Folkways & after Baltimore

In early 1995, at the urging of old friend Justin Tubb (son of the legendary country and western star Ernest Tubb) Gary finally made an actual last 20th Century performance: on live radio during the Ernest Tubb Midnight Jamboree following the Grand Ole Opry on WSM radio in Nashville, Tennessee.
August 1982 clip about Gary from THE BALTIMORE SUN newspaper (presented here for journalistic purposes only, reporting the coverage)

Bread & Roses: Baltimore

As the newspaper clip above shows, in the early 1980’s Gary Green found a home in Baltimore Maryland. Notice the words around the body of his guitar: “These Six Strings Neutralize The Tools of Oppression” (the name of his first album) inspired by Woody Guthrie’s guitar sign (“This Machine Kills Fascists”) and by Pete Seeger’s banjo stenciled: "This Machine Surrounds Hate and Forces It to Surrender".  From his coffeehouse in Baltimore, Gary produced local  and national concerts and toured to support his third Folkways album, “Still At Large”. It was during this period that he played in front of a half-million people in one performance in Washington DC. By the end of the decade his casino work had become some intense and his tour schedule so light that he “retired” from professional music. In 1993 he returned to stage for a “10 Year Reunion” of the Bread & Roses Coffeehouse concert series. That performance marked not only the end of an era in music but what was to have been Gary Green's last performance of the 20th century, if not forever. An early digital video was made of that show. That entire reunion video is below; Gary first appears 33 minutes into the show. Click on the arrow to view the entire concert.  
A longtime backstage regular at the Grand Ole Opry, Gary had friendship and ties to dozens of 1960’s and 1970’s country music artists as their sort-of folk-music counterpart. His relationship with Justin Tubb was more than two-decades old. Gary gave the show's followers a Hank Williams like voice-cracking version of "The Wreck of Old 97", backed by the Grand Ole Opry stage band,in the hyper-speed rhythm that Moe Asch has asked him to leave behind. When asked to recall his fondest memory of that last performance, Gary reminisced “the Opry Band, some of the finest session players in the world, deferred to let me pick the lead to that song in a combination of Carter-lick and the Carl Perkins version from ‘Johnny Cash At San Quinton’; and pressed up against the stage in the front row, singing along, was Mae Axton (composer of “Heartbreak Hotel” and mother of Hoyt Axon). It was pure Nashville surreal at its best. And, it was the perfect farewell performance for me. Call it the last ha-rah of traditional folkies in the commercial world.” With that, Gary Green made the decision to pack away his guitars.