Born in Nashville, Tennessee, Gant worked local clubs through the mid-1930s up until the Second World War, when he enlisted in the United States 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, California, signed with the Gilt Edge record label, and recorded the self-penned ballad "I Wonder" late in 1944, billed as "Pvt. Cecil Gant."
"I Wonder" reached number one on the Billboard Harlem Hit Parade (as the R&B 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. As well as singing in the dream vein of his hit, Gant could deliver a pleasant blues and energetic boogie-woogie; versatility shared by his West Coast contemporaries, Charles Brown and Ivory Joe Hunter. Gant had other releases on King Records (1947), Bullet Records (1948–49), Downbeat/Swingtime (1949), and Imperial Records (1950), but his moment of jukebox glory was gone. Some of his later recordings were rockabilly boogies utilising a Nashville studio guitarist, a few steps away from the soon-to-emerge rock and roll. However, he did not live long enough to see that new trend.
- List of West Coast blues musicians
- List of Boogie-Woogie musicians
- List of artists who reached number one on the Billboard R&B chart
- List of number-one rhythm and blues hits (United States)
- R&B number-one hits of 1945 (USA)
- West Coast blues
- First rock and roll record