Jim Green, the man who brought music concerts to Southaven and helped make Snowden Grove Amphitheater, now known as the BankPlus Amphitheater, a top regional entertainment attraction, has died at the age of 50.
Raised in Southaven, Green was very active in the Mid-South music scene for 30 years, bringing concerts to several Memphis locations, including the New Daisy on Beale Street, Lafayette’s Music Room, and Minglewood Hall. Green brought U2 to the Liberty Bowl and was involved in concerts at the Mud Island Amphitheater, the Memphis Botanic Garden, and for the Beale Street Music Festival.
Green started booking concerts at Snowden Grove when the amphitheater opened in 2006 and as Green Machine Entertainment brought top acts to the outdoor venue that included the Dave Matthews Band and Kenny Chesney. He continued with the city until the national company Live Nation was signed in 2018 to be the amphitheater’s promoter.
“He was Green Machine,” brother Bryan Green of Hernando said Wednesday. “He loved music in the area and he wanted it to be good and wanted it to grow. He wanted to grow artists in the area.”
Before that, Green was promoting the Memphis music scene, starting with the New Daisy, where he worked in the 1990s. Green joined Mid-South Concerts in 1994 and booked top rock stars to play in Memphis before starting his own company.
“Jim had a passion for music,” said Jennifer Ulm of Green Machine. “Nobody in the area could compare to his passion that he had to bring music to the area and put on a good show.”
Southaven Mayor Darren Musselwhite gave a tribute to Green as a local boy who chased his dreams. He also asked for a moment of silence to honor Green at the beginning of Tuesday’s Board of Aldermen meeting.
“You were a Southaven kid who achieved your dreams of becoming a nationally-known and respected concert producer/promoter without ever forgetting your roots,” Musselwhite wrote on his Mayor Musselwhite Facebook page. “You were the first to promote concerts in your hometown and always the first to give back. You told me many times how much you loved Southaven and always tried to make it an even better place. You brought music to our city, but more importantly, you brought happiness to our people.”
Bryan Green agreed that his brother loved Southaven and kept wanting to grow music in his hometown.
“He grew up here when it was small and cared for the city,” Bryan Green said. “Jim wanted to give the people here good entertainment.”
Green also managed bands and was the producer for the 2008 Presidential debate between Barack Obama and John McCain at the University of Mississippi.
Another major interest for Green away from the stage was the sport of tennis, as a player and promoter of that sport in DeSoto County and Northwest Mississippi.
Green led the local tennis association which was called the DeSoto County Tennis Association at the time.
DeSoto County Supervisor Mark Gardner preceded Green as association president and credited Green with expanding the reach of the sport outside the confines of the county.
“Jim did a great job as president of the association,” Gardner said. “When I was president, it was the DeSoto County Tennis Association and he changed it to the Northwest Mississippi Tennis Association. That was a good idea because we didn’t just cover DeSoto County, but we played a lot of our tournaments at Tunica National since they have indoor courts.”
Bryan Green said that arrangements are being made with Memorial Park Funeral Home and Cemetery in Memphis. Visitation for Jim Green will be held Sunday, June 7 from 4-6 p.m. and Monday, June 8 from 12 noon until a Celebration of Life that afternoon at 1 p.m., all at Memorial Park Funeral Home.