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Johnny Cash Last Surviving Original Band Member Dies At 83

Columbia Nashville

Marshall Grant, the last original member of Johnny Cash’s band has died at the age of 83. Grant died last weekend after suffering a brain aneurysm and is pictured above on the right.

Cash’s band was known as the ‘Tennessee Two” and Grant was a very important part of what would become Cash’s signature sound on the bass and also served as the road manager from 1954-1980.

Rosanne Cash, Johnny’s daughter said, “had dad not had Marshall, he wouldn’t have had the ‘Johnny Cash’ sound and he wouldn’t have become all that he was and I wouldn’t have become a songwriter or a musician.” That is a very rare element to an artist’s career to have someone that so closely mirrors what you are trying to do. The late Buck Owens had a similar relationship with his lead guitar player Don Rich. In fact, it was not long after Rich died that Owens all but retired because he felt so uncomfortable without Rich by his side. Grant and Cash had a nasty split in 1980, followed by a lawsuit in which Grant accused Cash of wrongful termination and embezzlement of retirement funds set aside for Grant and the band. They did reconcile and played their last show together in 1999. Watch Grant play bass on this 1959 performance of ‘Folsom Prison Blues’.

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