George Green's three sons carried on the family's musical heritage: Joseph Peter Green II (1892-1939), was a xylophonist and drummer who played in Sousa's Band early in his career; George Hamilton Green, Jr. (1893-1970) became a world-reknowned xylophone virtuoso; while Lewis Green (1910-1992) became a percussionist. Performing as a musical ensemble in 1928, the Green brothers made history by recording the original soundtracks for the first three Walt Disney cartoons.
Born in Omaha Nebraska on May 23, 1893, George Hamilton Green, Jr. was a piano prodigy at the age of four. His grandfather, Joseph Green I, began as violinist and violin maker in New York City-later he moved to Omaha to work as conductor and baritone horn soloist with the Seventh Ward Silver Cornet Band. In 1889 George Hamilton Green Jr.’s father (George Hamilton Green, Sr.) followed his father’s footsteps becoming cornet soloist, arranger and conductor of the Seventh Ward Silver Cornet Band-playing weekly concerts to audiences of 7,000-10,000 in the 1890’s. Coming from such a musical background, it is not too surprising that George Jr. was already being called the
In 1928 Lew Green, Sr. (much younger than his brothers George Jr. and Joseph II) joined his brothers to hit the e“big time.a” Lew played percussion but favored the banjo and guitar. The three Green brothers were the original sound music crew for the first three Walt Disney cartoons. In 1946, G.H.Green retired from music and began a second career as a commercial artist, illustrator, and cartoonist. It is sad that George Hamilton Green, Jr. passed away in 1970-just a few years before a great revival of interest in his music, and before his 1983 indoctrination into the percussive Arts Society’s Hall of Fame.
Considered one of history's greatest xylophone players, George Hamilton Green started playing at age 11 and at 13 was performing solos with his father's band. At 19 he entered vaudeville and in one year was proclaimed the fastest, most artistic, and most wonderful xylophonist and soloist in this country or abroad. He was one of the most popular artists in recorded history, acting as soloist, composer, arranger, and as part of various groups including All Star Trio, Green Brothers' Xylophone Orchestra, and Green Brothers Novelty Band. Green was a fine teacher and author of pedagogical materials, his course of 50 lessons retaining importance today. His solo xylophone compositions such as The Ragtime Robin, Charleston Capers and Caprice Valsant still retain an enormous popularity. Upon his retirement from music in 1946, Green pursued a successful career as an artist, illustrator and cartoonist.