Cultural Percussionist

Cecil Gant Day

Cecil Gant (April 4, 1913 – February 4, 1951) was an American blues singer, songwriter and pianist, whose recordings of both ballads and “fiery piano rockers” were successful in the mid- and late 1940s, and influenced the early development of rock and roll. His biggest hit was the 1944 ballad, “I Wonder“.

Gant was born in Columbia, Tennessee, but was raised in Cleveland, Ohio. He returned to Nashville, Tennessee and worked there as a musician, as well as touring with his own band, from the mid-1930s until he joined the army during World War II. In 1944, after performing at a War Bondrally in Los Angeles, California, he recorded his composition “I Wonder” for the tiny black-owned Bronze record label. When it started to become locally popular, he re-recorded it for the newly established white-owned independent Gilt-Edge record label.His recording of “I Wonder” was released under the name “Pvt. Cecil Gant”, as were later releases on the label.

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