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Marshall Grant, Last Living Member of Johnny Cash’s Band, Dies at 83

Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Two
Columbia Nashville

Marshall Grant, the last original member of Johnny Cash‘s ‘Tennessee Two,’ died on Sunday. The bassist (and Cash tour manager until 1980) passed away in a hospital in Jonesboro, Ark. after suffering an aneurysm earlier in the week. He was 83-years-old.

Cash’s daughter Rosanne Cash reflected on how Grant’s steadying hand was as essential to her father’s success as his iconic bass style. “Had Dad not had Marshall, he wouldn’t have had the ‘Johnny Cash Sound,’” she tells The Tennessean, “and he wouldn’t have become all that he was, in his fullness. And I wouldn’t have become a songwriter or a musician. There’s a whole lineage that wouldn’t have happened.”

“Marshall was a solid, solid rock,” she adds. “I cannot imagine what would have happened on those tours without him.” Grant had just finished watching rehearsals for Thursday’s Johnny Cash Festival in Jonesboro last Wednesday when he collapsed and was rushed the hospital for surgery to remove a blood clot. He died around 3:30 on Sunday morning. Kris Kristofferson, George Jones and Rodney Crowell were amongst the musicians he spent his last moments watching.

“He was excited and passionate about the day,” says Cash’s son John Carter Cash. “He was right in the thick of it, and he saw history coming full circle.” The festival was to raise money to restore Johnny Cash’s boyhood home in Dyess, Ark.

Survivor information and funeral specifics have not been made public, but the funeral arrangements will be set by Memorial Park Funeral Home in Memphis, Tenn.

Watch Marshall Grant Play Bass on ‘Folsom Prison Blues’

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