Written by Don Reid. Posted in General


Marshall Grant died today.  He was 83 in years but twice that much in wisdom and experience.

We got to know M.G., as he affectionately became known to us, on our first date with the Johnny Cash troupe, March 8, 1964 –Canton, Ohio.  And it didn’t take more than the first night for us to see who was truly in charge.  Marshall, an original of John’s Tennessee Two, played the bass on stage but off stage, he ran the show.  He booked the hotels and airplanes.  He made sure the shows started and ended on time.  He took care of all the little and big problems that arose in a tour whether it was ten days long or three weeks long.  Marshall was the Majordomo; the General; the go-to-guy.  And when we left the troupe eight and a half years later to start our own organization, we lamented many times that we would only be complete when we found ‘our Marshall’. 

We never did.  Not until another decade had passed and Marshall and John had some problems that couldn’t be solved and they parted ways.  Having kept our friendship alive with both, we went by Marshall’s house in Mississippi and picked him up and took him on a few tours with us just to renew old times.  In no time at all, he went to work for us.  He became our agent; our road manager; our closest confidant.  We finally had ‘our Marshall’.

He set all our dates and traveled every mile with us on the bus and in the air.  When we signed on to do the TV series in the 90s on TNN, he co-produced the shows with us and he was the guy who stood in front of us in all our dealings and the one everyone had to answer to.  He gave us  room for creativity while he watched over the facts and figures.  We trusted him like he was blood kin. That relationship lasted for 20 years until we decided to hang it up in 2002.  Marshall hung it up, too.

He was first a friend – the best.

He showed us the ropes in the early days.

He was like a big brother who never let you out of his sight.

To say I/we will miss him is a gross understatement.

I feel something inside me has taken flight today that I’ll never feel again.

I could tell a thousand stories here, but I don’t have the heart for it today.  Maybe another time.

I loved him dearly.


                      -Sunday August 7, 2011   – 6:15pm



Written by Don Reid. Posted in General

Having been in the entertainment business for forty (40) years, there are little tricks and treats of the trade that you tend to make good use of for the betterment of your business.  And any entrepreneur will tell you the most important part of their business, besides their product, is their name.  A good name must be nurtured and protected above all else and at all times.  There used to be services out there that would track your name daily for a fee and each week send you a listing of all the papers and magazines in which it appeared throughout the world.  This way you could not only account for how many mentions you may have gotten that week but also you could monitor how it was being used and what was being said about you. This was very useful when a new album was released or a new tour embarked upon.  To many of you I’m sure this sounds very archaic and cumbersome, but trust me, many national companies and entertainers used this service to track and protect their good name for many years.

But then comes the Internet!  And like the Dunder-Mifflin Paper Company, Blockbuster and telephone booths, this little service quickly becomes an antique.  An antique no longer needed and no longer able to be found.  And why should anyone even miss it when you can replace it and all it did with the double click of a mouse or the striking of a key?  Enter my son, Langdon, again.

Langdon, always looking out for his old man and thinking I should have the benefit of whatever new is being offered in the gadget world, emailed me not long ago and said, “Dad, you need to check out Google Alert.”

Thinking this might be a new contestant on “American Idol” or a Lady Gaga rip off, I asked for more info and was supplied with the web address that instructed me in how to use it.  Sure enough, it was just a cyber-version of the old newspaper/magazine service I was familiar with from long ago.  I was told to just sign up, click ‘ok’ and then ‘enter’, and my name would be tracked with no further input from me whatsoever.  The results were immediate.

Within the hour I was inundated with coverage from all over the United States.  Don Reid mentions were dinging my email bell all through the night and into the next morning.  Don Reid did this and he did that and they just wouldn’t stop.  What a magic and wondrous accommodation this was.  And so immediate and responsive and detailed.

The only problem was….none of the stacks of emails had anything to do with me.

There was a Don Reid who writes for a newspaper in the Midwest.  I got everyone of his stories that he got a byline on and he must write a dozen a day.  There’s a photographer out there in the near west also, who publishes family pictures and a lot of them.  A Don Reid Ford dealership in Florida – and do you have any idea how many ads he buys in the newspaper in a week’s time?  And as if this wasn’t enough, I started getting all of Senator Harry Reid’s mentions. The last one I just got informed me he had fallen and dislocated his shoulder. (So sorry, Harry.)  And I don’t know what to do with all this useless information that keeps crowding my inbox.  I’m just thankful that Don Reid, the basketball player for Detroit, Washington, and Orlando retired the same year I did or I guess I’d be getting a ding every time he dunked a ball or missed a shot.  And there’s even an actor out there sharing my moniker who has made three or four movies.  But I guess what finalized my decision to terminate my Google access, was when I started getting Tara Reid’s clippings.  The pictures were something to behold but I didn’t know what to do with them.

So I have double clicked on the unsubscribe button and no longer receive random notices of every one in the country named Reid. I am content with not knowing what is being said about me in that loftier space called the Internet.  So if you come across a besmirching statement or even an occasional praise, don’t bother to send it.  It probably ain’t me anyway.    

                              —–Wednesday, May 4, 2011     6:35pm