‘Father of Loud’, creator of the amp Jim Marshall dies

5 Apr 2012

The creator of the Marshall amplifier used by musicians all over the world, Jim Marshall, has died. An electrical engineer, Marshall was originally a singer and a drummer who built the distinctive ‘Marshall’ amp to boost his performance.

His impact on modern music has been forceful and more profound than any musician.

A Londoner, Marshall was exempted from World War II service because of ill health.

Marshall was an electrical engineer by day and a performer by night and designed and built an amp so his crooning vocals could be heard over the sound of the drums.

Marshall self-funded his amplifier start-up Marshall Amplification and bootstrapped the company through giving drum lessons. Among his customers were Ritchie Blackmore, Little Richard and Peter Townsend.

In 1962, Marshall Amplification was founded and after several attempts Marshall created an amp he was happy with.

This led to the creation of the Master Volume Marshall amps and the classic JCM800 split channel amp.

Known as the ‘Father of Loud’, Marshall died at the age of 88. He had been recognised by Queen Elizabeth II with an OBE for creating an export success.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years