Home » NEWS » Small Business » Small Business Spotlight: Mississippi Music

Small Business Spotlight: Mississippi Music

Music plays on: Johnson team has made music business a powerhouse

Husband and wife duo Jim and Mac Johnson started Mississippi Music 65 years ago.

Husband and wife duo Jim and Mac Johnson started Mississippi Music 65 years ago.

Mississippi Music has weathered nearly 65 years in business by adapting and evolving to meet market demands in the state.

The company was founded in Hattiesburg by Jim Johnson and his wife, Mac, who are both now in their 90s. Jim Johnson, an Alabama native, was a trombone player who came to Yazoo City as a band director after receiving bachelor’s and graduate degrees from Northwestern University.

“He saw a need in Mississippi for schools to have bands,” said Rosi Johnson, Mississippi Music president and Jim Johnson’s daughter-in-law. “He kind of looked around the state and saw that Hattiesburg was a young town with growing schools, plus the university’s music department was well known.”

Front view of the Hattiesburg location of Mississippi Music

Front view of the Hattiesburg location of Mississippi Music

The couple opened The Music Shop in 1946 on North Main Street in Hattiesburg. In the 1960s, the original shop incorporated with two other music companies to form Mississippi Music Inc., and sold home organs, pianos, guitars, amplifiers and even television sets and sewing machines.

“Whatever was kind of happening at the time, we sold it,” Rosi Johnson said.

At one point, Mississippi Music had eight locations in the state. The company now has retail shops in Hattiesburg, Flowood, Meridian and Biloxi in addition to its headquarters in Hattiesburg.

In addition to selling music equipment, the company services many of the state’s school bands and offers music lessons.

Interior of Jackson location

Interior of Jackson location

Challenges have come and gone over the decades — first in the form of malls and larger department stores, then in the opening of big box stores. Next up were mail order stores, the Internet and eBay.

“We do have competition, and competition is good,” Johnson said. “Like I said, we can’t be everything to everybody. Had we not been able to adapt and change, we would not still be here.”

BEFORE YOU GO…

… we’d like to ask for your support. More people are reading the Mississippi Business Journal than ever before, but advertising revenues for all conventional media are falling fast. Unlike many, we do not use a pay wall, because we want to continue providing Mississippi’s most comprehensive business news each and every day. But that takes time, money and hard work. We do it because it is important to us … and equally important to you, if you value the flow of trustworthy news and information which have always kept America strong and free for more than 200 years.

If those who read our content will help fund it, we can continue to bring you the very best in news and information. Please consider joining us as a valued member, or if you prefer, make a one-time contribution.

Click for more info

About Laura Smith

One comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*