Arthur Gunter

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Arthur Gunter
Birth name Arthur Neal Gunter
Born (1926-05-23)May 23, 1926
Vesta, Oglethorpe County, Georgia, United States
Died March 16, 1976(1976-03-16) (aged 49)
Port Huron, Michigan, U.S.
Genres Blues, R&B
Occupation(s) Singer, guitarist
Years active c. 1950–1973
Labels Excello

Arthur Neal Gunter (May 23, 1926 – March 16, 1976)[1][2] was an American blues guitarist and musician. He was best known for his song "Baby Let's Play House", which was later a hit single for Elvis Presley.

Biography[edit]

Gunter was born in Oglethorpe County, Georgia.[3] As a child, he was in a gospel group with his brothers and cousins called the Gunter Brothers Quartet. In the early 1950s, he played in various blues groups around Nashville, Tennessee, and began recording for Excello Records in 1954.

In November 1954, Gunter recorded "Baby Let's Play House" for Excello (2047),[4] which not only became a local hit, but peaked at number 12 in the US Billboard R&B chart.[5] It became better nationally known later that year when Elvis Presley recorded a version for Sun Records. "Elvis got that number and made it famous. But I didn't get a chance to shake his hand," Gunter would later say.[citation needed] His first royalty check, received that same year, was for $6,500.[citation needed]

Gunter continued to record for Excello until 1961. His regular band broke up in 1966 and he moved to Pontiac, Michigan, performing only occasionally thereafter. He retired after winning the Michigan State Lottery in 1973.[3]

He died of pneumonia in 1976, aged 49, at his home in Port Huron, Michigan.[1]

Reissues[edit]

No album was issued on Excello until the 1971 "Black and Blues" (LP-8017). In 1995, Excello/AVI issued the CD "Baby Let's Play House" (CD-3011). In 2015 Japanese Oldays issued a limited edition 23 track CD "Baby Let's Play House". Also in late 2016, UK Jasmine issued an Arthur Gunter CD, also called "Baby Let's Play House", which is easily available.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Reif, Fred (1995). Arthur Gunter. Baby Let's Play House: the Best of Arthur Gunter (pp. 3–6) [CD liner notes]. Los Angeles: Excello Records

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Doc Rock. "The 1970s". The Dead Rock Stars Club. Retrieved 2016-01-08. 
  2. ^ Steve Kurutz. "Arthur Neal Gunter | Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-01-08. 
  3. ^ a b Eagle, Bob; LeBlanc, Eric S. (2013). Blues - A Regional Experience. Santa Barbara: Praeger Publishers. p. 274. ISBN 978-0313344237. 
  4. ^ JCMarion. "Ernie Young, J.D. Miller and Excello Records". Home.earthlink.net. Retrieved 2016-01-08. 
  5. ^ "Arthur Neal Gunter | Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-01-08.