Death Is Announced Of Jim Marshall

5 April 2012, 11:22 | Updated: 5 April 2012, 13:16

One of Milton Keynes most famous people, Jim Marshall, has died at the age of 88.

One of Milton Keynes most famous people, Jim Marshall, has died at the age of 88.

It's a tribute to just how well known he was in the music world that news of his death immediately started trending on Twitter.

Thanks to the success of his factory in Bletchley, he was given the Freedom of the Borough back in March 2009. You can see pictures from that ceremony in our gallery below.

Biography from Marshall Amps

Behind every successful enterprise there is always a human aspect. In the case of Marshall Amplification, our success is closely tied to Company founder, Jim Marshall.

With virtually no formal education due to a childhood marred by illness, Jim Marshall began work at 13 years of age in 1936. In the evenings he had joined a tap dancing school and was discovered as a singer during an end of term performance. His natural talent for music shone again when sitting in for a drummer in a band and before too long Jim became a successful drummer in his own right.

In 1947, he studied under the highly respected drum teacher Max Abrams and, by the early 50’s, had turned fully professional. He became highly sought after as both a drummer and drum teacher, with up to 65 pupils per week attending his classes. By 1960 Jim’s hard work had provided enough capital for him to open his own music shop. Based in Hanwell, West London, he was initially selling only drums, but later included guitars and amplifiers by popular demand. He augmented his retail business by building cabinets in his garage, which soon became his workshop. Jim very quickly realised that the guitarists coming into his shop were looking for a different sound than that available from the amplifiers he stocked. He contacted Ken Bran, a former customer and technician, and another electronics expert, Dudley Craven, and they started producing their own prototypes in 1962.

By September Jim had selected the best sounding amplifier and the Marshall sound was born. Jim’s training in earlier years as an engineer gave him the ideal skills for cabinet building and design. By stacking the angle-fronted cabinet onto the straight-fronted cabinet, then placing the amplifier on top, Jim created the Marshall ‘Stack’, which not only sounded majestic, but looked superb as a stage backdrop too!
Since those early days in the mid 60’s, the Marshall Stack has become one of the most recognisable icons of the music industry. Over the years the Marshall range has been constantly developed to encompass the many different features and functions required by the players of the time, whilst always remaining true to its roots. Through exhaustive research and development, Marshall amplifiers have managed to capture the hearts and minds of each new generation of guitar players, whilst maintaining the loyalty of the older guitarists as well. The ability to listen, plus the expansion of the product range, has maintained the company’s growth and has won the Company countless accolades and awards, most notably the Queens Award for Export Achievement in 1984 and 1992.

Marshall Amplification is now housed in its fifth factory and ships amplifiers to every corner of the world. Constant investment, painstaking research and sheer hard work have maintained our position as the number one amplifier manufacturer.

With his vision and commitment, Jim Marshall has created a product synonymous with quality and craftsmanship which has inspired musicians of every style, every age and every ability.