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Cecil Gant.Cecil Gant is born in Nashville, Tennessee on 4 April 1913.

In 1944 Cecil joins the US Army and is based in Los Angeles, where he appears at Treasury Bond rallies. He records his composition 'I Wonder' first for Bronze Records, then for Gilt-Edge. It charts in October and is promptly covered on rival labels by singers Warren Evans (National), Dan Grisson (Exclusive) and another army private, Lloyd Thompson (Savoy).

The following year 'I Wonder' remained Billboards Harlem Hit Parade until April, flanked by cover versions from Roosevelt Sykes (on the Bluebird label) and Louis Armstrong (on Decca). Woody Herman also records the song (for Columbia). Gilt-Edge rush out several more Gant singles.

Cecil is on the roster of Harold F. Oxley booking agency. In Nashville, he signs with Bullet Records and starts their R&B series in April 1946 with 'Nashville Jumps'. Meanwhile, Cecil records continue to appear on the West Coast on the 4 Star record label.

He re-records 'I Wonder' for Bullet in 1947 and also records half a dozen sides which will be acquired in the following years by King Records.


Cecil's 'Another Day, Another Dollar' is Bullet's first R&B hit in 1948 and King Records release 'Hogan's Alle' / 'Why'.

Cecil has a second R&B Chart entry with 'I'm a Poor Man, but a Good Man' (Bullet) in 1949. In L.A. he records for Swing Time with Tiny Webb (guitar), Ralph Hamilton (bass) and Jesse Sailes (drums), sidemen who also worked with Lowell Fulson and Lloyd Glenn. In Nashville he records for the Dot label.

In 1950 Cecil records for the Imperial label. In Nashville he signs with Decca. His first release is 'Goodnight Irene', a cover of the Weavers' hit recording of this Leadbelly number, but subsequent sides are blues and boogies.

Cecil records Tennessee Ernie Ford's 'Shot Gun Boogie' on 19 January. Two months later Down Beat magazine reports the recent death of Cecil Gant in Nashville. A date of 4 February 1951 has been suggested.

John Lee Hooker records a, for him, surprisingly faithful version of 'I Wonder' for the Modern record label in 1953.

Then in 1956 a school teacher and part-time singer named Clenest Gant records a jump-blues song, 'Jump Jump-Hi Ho', for Kit a small Nashville label. It remains to be discovered if he was related to Cecil.

Aretha Franklin records 'I Wonder', with string arrangement by Ralph Burns (a one time Woody Herman arranger), on her album Aretha Arrives in 1967.

The first album length reissue of Cecil Gant's work, Rock Little Baby, is produced by Flyright Records in Britain in 1974.

In 1993 the young singer/pianist A.J. Croce includes 'I Wonder', on his debut album.