Monday, August 8, 2011

Marshall Grant dies. He was the last surviving member of Johnny Cash and the Tennessee two

Posted By on Mon, Aug 8, 2011 at 9:28 AM

Reunited: Luther Perkins, Johnny Cash, and Marshall Grant
  • Reunited: Luther Perkins, Johnny Cash, and Marshall Grant
We've lost some rock-and-roll royalty. Sun records recording artist Marshall Grant—the bass player who put the boom in Johnny Cash's famous "boom-chick" sound—is dead at 83. He was the last surviving member of Cash's original band the Tennessee Two.

Before his music career took off Grant worked at Automobile Sales, a dealership at 309 Union. He fixed cars, and when business was slow, he and co-worker Luther Perkins picked out gospel tunes. Another co-worker, Roy Cash, liked what he heard and promised to introduce Grant, Perkins, and Hawaiian steel player Red Kernodle to his guitar-crazy brother John just as soon as he got out of the Air Force. The rest has been covered extensively.

In this interview with the Memphis Flyer Grant, Cash's long time bandmate, friend, road manager, and occasional critic described how the band developed its freight train rhythm.

Whenever anybody asked Grant what he was doing with his retirement he'd answer, "Whatever the hell I want to." In 2010, prior to a rare Q&A/mini-concert at the Brooks Museum of art, Grant announced, "I'm gonna play my bass just like Sam Phillips told me back when we were playing on The Louisiana Hayride. Sam said, whenever you get down there, I want you to get a microphone and slap the hell out of that thing.'" And every time he picked up a bass that's exactly what Marshall Grant did.

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