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Marshall Grant, Johnny Cash’s Last Living Original Band Member, Dead at 83

Columbia Nashville

Nashville legend Marshall Grant, the last surviving member of Johnny Cash‘s original band, passed away on Sunday after suffering an aneurysm. He was 83 years old.

Grant’s bass playing helped anchor the Cash combo known as the ‘Tennessee Two,’ and was a signature part of his early sound. Just as importantly, Grant, in the picture above on the right, served as the band’s road manager, working with Cash from 1954-1980.

Cash’s daughter, Rosanne Cash, praised Grant, saying, “Had Dad not had Marshall, he wouldn’t have had the ‘Johnny Cash Sound,’ 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, I cannot imagine what would have happened on those tours without him.”

Cash and Grant split acrimoniously 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. The case was eventually settled out of court, and the two men reconciled; Grant and Cash performed their last show together in 1999.

Watch Marshall Grant play bass on ‘Folsom Prison Blues’

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