Grant Townsell was born in Decatur, Alabama. He toured through the Midwest with the band True Friends. They played R&B and Spirituals. He moved to Burlington, Iowa where he met and married his wife. He moved to Des Moines and had a band with his sons, Joey, Grant Jr., Clifton, and Grant the Third. He also owned a record shop for 17 years on Center Street. Grant passed away in 1993.