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- Posted on Aug 8th 2011 2:00PM by Jason MacNeil
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Grant died at St. Bernard's Medical Center in Jonesboro, Arkansas. In a strange coincidence, Grant made the trek to Jonesboro from his home in Hernando, Mississippi to rehearse and perform at the inaugural Johnny Cash Festival with proceeds helping restore Cash's childhood home. The Festival featured George Jones, Rosanne Cash, Kris Kristofferson and many others. He collapsed in his hotel room following rehearsal and was taken to hospital.
"Marshall Grant, original of Johnny Cash & The Tennessee Two, died lst nt," Rosanne Cash said via Twitter. "Grateful I was w/him last 2 days. Boom Chicka Boom, old friend." Cash added soon after that Grant was meant to perform at the Jonesboro concert Thursday and even appeared at rehearsal where he "played his bass on stage 1 last time, with so many friends."
According to The Tennessean, Grant was responsible for the "boom" in Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Two's signature "boom chicka boom" sound and can be heard on many of Cash's biggest hits including 'I Walk the Line,' 'Ring of Fire' and 'Man in Black.'
"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," Rosanne Cash told the newspaper. "And I wouldn't have become a songwriter or a musician. There's a whole lineage that wouldn't have happened."
Grant performed and recorded with Johnny Cash from 1954 through to 1980 and was his road manager for 25 years. The bassist later sued Cash for "wrongful termination and embezzlement of retirement funds" which was resolved out of court. The two later reconciled and remained close friends until Cash's passing, with the duo performing for the last time together in 1999.
In 2006, Grant wrote a memoir 'I Was There When It Happened: My Life With Johnny Cash.'