Nashville is a song town and Jeff Green is a song guy. While on the air at his college radio station almost 35 years ago in San Francisco, Elvis Presley died. Green put together a themed show about the King. What started out as lists of songs about various topics on recipe cards developed into a loose-leaf binder, then several loose-leaf binders and eventually, five print editions of the Green Book of Songs By Subject.
The Green Book now classifies tens of thousands of popular songs and album tracks over the past 100 years by more than 2,000 themes and concepts. It’s the only continuously maintained source of songs by subject in the world and that’s because “my wife Lauren Virshup and I are too crazy to know when to stop!,” Green admits.
Green originally thought the book would help songwriters and musicians get their music played on radio stations in the ’70s, but it’s now used worldwide by thousands of libraries, CBS News, CNN and the BBC, radio/TV stations, major film/record companies (Paramount, Disney, Sony Music, just to name a few), professional sports teams (Minnesota Vikings, San Diego Padres, New Jersey Nets, Chicago Blackhawks, for example), ad agencies, television networks (MTV, Showtime, Oprah Winfrey), mobile DJs, wedding planners, dance instructors and anyone who ever works with music.
Teachers have discovered it helps students connect music to songs about history (e.g., Vietnam, the Civil War, 9/11), themes in literature (songs about prejudice to add understanding to books such as To Kill A Mockingbird, for example).
Although the Green Book is in its 5th printing of the hardback edition, it is most likely its last due to the sheer amount of information, and has shifted to an ever-growing inexpensive online subscription database. To buy the book, subscribe or just find out more just click here.
Jeff is currently VP of Country Aircheck, a Nashville-based trade publication company. He has previously worked as Executive Director for the Americana Music Association in Nashville and as Executive Editor at Radio & Records, a radio broadcast trade publication. Jeff has also served nine years in senior management with the Country Music Association. In 2004, he received the CMA’s Jo Walker-Meador International Achievement Award for efforts to promote country music worldwide.