A music hero: Marshall Amps

It wouldn’t be an overstatement to say that Marshall Amps has had one of the most successful impacts on music to date. It began with one man and his passion for music and turned into a worldwide sensation. Jim Marshall revolutionised the music industry and after opening a music store in Hanwell, London back in 1962, he was able to begin what would become a revolutionary business that only grows more successful as time goes on!


Born in London in 1923, Jim found a love for music and began playing the drums as a child, already by the late 1930’s, he was able to play and teach music lessons professionally. Jim went on to gig for more than 20 years and was finally able to open a music shop named ‘Jim Marshall and Son’ following this. Initially, the store stocked a range of musical instruments that appealed to many emerging young artists, for example, Pete Townshend and Ritchie Blackmore. After it was clear there was a demand for a new breed of amplifiers, Jim worked with his team to produce their very own. The first amp created was known as ‘Number One’ which brought in 23 orders on the first day of its launch! This amp became the first of a whole lot of JTM45 amps to follow.


In 1965, an even more amazing breakthrough occurred in the form of Pete Townshend demanding his sound should be louder. Jim was eager to provide a solution and didn’t fail to disappoint after producing the 100 watt Marshall amplifier, called the Super 100 head.

jim marshall

The Hanwell shop became such a success that Jim Marshall needed a shop that could keep up, this came in the form of a base in Bletchley and in 1967, Jim Marshall and Son moved here. From this move, Jim and his team were able to keep producing ground-breaking products and continue to take the market by storm. There were many milestones that were met over the years and in 2010, the Marshall brand expanded their product portfolio to headphones. 2012 was a huge achievement as Jim and his empire celebrated 50 years in the amplifier business and celebrated this with a star-filled rock concert to pay tribute to Jim Marshall OBE. Very sadly, Jim passed away the same year leaving a lifetime legacy behind.

Innovation and production did not take a back seat in the years since Jim passed, even more models of Marshall Amps have been produced. Now, with the latest technology, the amp company is as unstoppable as ever; even launching a record company in 2017 to sign talented aspiring young musicians proves that this company are passionate about giving back to the music industry and encourage others to thrive.

With connections to artists such as Jimi Hendrix, Slash, Eric Clapton, Oasis and many more, it is no secret that Marshall Amps has impacted the world of music in a significant way. The empire of Marshall Amps has extended out to acquiring Eden, an American bass company as well as Natal drum company founded by British percussionist, Alan Sharp. It is clear that Marshall Amps’ passion for music is what drives them to keep producing better products and allows them to expand to bigger and better things. Long may they reign!


Progress Academy is honoured to work in partnership with Marshall Amps; it means so much to be able to work with such a renowned music innovator. In fact, our two owners have a special relationship with Marshall Amps, as Steve Smith is an integral part of the production team there and is the International Product Demonstrator for Marshall Amps themselves. Not only this but Gary Walmsley was a vital part of the setup of Natal Drums back in 2010 and remains the Product Specialist for the business.


Whether you are looking for guitar lessons Birmingham, drum lessons, bass lessons and more, Progress Academy are here to turn your passion into a talent! Book online with us now and receive 25% off your first lesson!

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