Reference: BMCD 6052
Bar code: 8427328060547
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Cecil Gant (April 4, 1913 - February 4, 1951) was an American Blues singer & pianist.
Born in Nashville, Tennessee, Gant worked local clubs through the mid 1930's up until the Second World War, when he enlisted in the US Army. Though his piano was blues-based, vocally he was a crooner of considerable cross-over appeal. He sang at a War Bond rally in Los Angeles, signed with the Gilt Edge record label, and cut the ballad "I Wonder" late in 1944, billed as "Pvt. Cecil Grant."
"I Wonder" reached number one on the Harlem Hit Parade (as the "race" chart was called then) and sold impressively nationwide. Gant then went on tour billed as "The G.I. Sing-sation," dressed in Army khaki and breaking attendance records at major venues, attracting both black and white audiences. But he was unlucky, and perhaps too early: it was left to Nat Cole and Billy Eckstine to find the lucrative "sepia Sinatra" market. Grant had other releases on King (1947), Bullet (1948-49), Downbeat/Swingtime (1949), and Imperial (1950), but his moment of juke box glory was gone. Cecil is considered THE grand-father of rock n roll. His 1951 song: "Rock Me Baby" should be considered as the first rock n roll song ever, both his lyrics and music are far ahead, as he was far ahead of his times.
Gant died of pneumonia in Nashville in 1951.