August 9, 2011 by staff
Marshall Grant, who grew up in Bessemer City, began making music with the young man, whose name was Johnny Cash? Together, as a sound that still resonates around the world.
Grant, who died Sunday at age 83, was an original member of Tennessee in cash in two bands, playing bass and helping to create the legendary “boom chicka-boom” on Sun Records in Memphis.
“The sound was so audacious in its simplicity and absolute right,” said museum historian Tom Hanchett New South. “He stopped dead in its tracks. This was one of the most recognizable sound that has given the South.”
Grant died of an aneurysm in Jonesboro, Arkansas, where he participated in the Festival of Johnny Cash, a fundraiser to save their childhood home for cash. There was also Cash’s daughter, Rosanne Cash, his son John Carter Cash, and other family members along with singers George Jones, Kris Kristofferson and Rodney Crowell.
A resident of Hernando, Mississippi, and 17 miles south of Memphis, Grant spent 26 years with money as a member of the band and road manager. Later, he led the Country Music hall of fame group the Statler Brothers until his retirement in 2002.
“Marshall was on the ground,” said his nephew, Cary Grant, 63, of Bessemer City. “Never put alcohol or drugs or have ever smoked a cigarette.”
Grant Marshall returned to the Gaston County once a year and “never forgot his roots,” said Gary Grant. “He was always helpful, never distant.”
Grant 2006 autobiography, “I was there from the beginning: My Life with Johnny Cash” jumped his first days in Gaston County.
In a 2008 interview with the Observer, said the book was too long and his editors that he had cut most of its history.
Grant grew up in a family of seven boys and four girls. They moved to Gaston County in 1935 of the Nantahala Mountains near Bryson City.
Recalling the trip, Grant said he loaded his belongings into a truck of one ton 1 1 / 2, even leading to the family cow. Grants moved into a house near Bessemer City tenants. Like the families of mountain, they had come in search of stable employment in textile mills. In addition, one child, Hershell, suffered polio and the family is wanted to be near Orthopedic Hospital Gastonia.
Chapel Grove attended Grant High School, worked briefly in a factory in Gastonia and was driving a truck for ice Bessemer City and Co. Over coal, strumming a guitar of country Carter Family songs – something he had been doing since childhood.
In 1946, Grant moved to Memphis and worked as a mechanic. He and effective joined forces with guitarist Luther Perkins and began making records in studies on other shared Sun newcomers like Elvis Presley, BB King, Roy Orbison and Jerry Lee Lewis.
Grant and cash were best friends, but there was a fight like drug addiction worsened in cash. Their friendship was renewed in 1997, when Grant visited the singer in the hospital.
“In five minutes we have buried the hatchet,” said Grant to the observer. “It was meant just to be. We were as close as they once were. I talked to him every day until he died in 2003.”
In 2007, Grant was inducted into the hall of fame & Museum in Nashville Musicians, Tennessee
Cary Grant asked his uncle to write another memoir focusing on his early years in North Carolina, but never did.
Meanwhile, while on vacation in Beijing, China, last year, Cary Grant was in a restaurant when he heard the “boom boom chicka” sound of Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Two.
“They were playing” I Walk the Line”’he said. “I told the people beside me who was my uncle on bass. It made me feel proud. The music lives on.”
Grant Marshall is survived by his wife of 65 years, Etta can grant, a son, two grandchildren and three great-grandchildren, two brothers and three sisters.
Tour is Friday from 1 until 15:00 Funeral Home Memorial Park, 5668 Poplar Ave, Memphis, Tennessee 38119. The funeral service will be held immediately after the burial at Memorial Park Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that all monuments will be sent to the charity of the donor’s choice.
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