Earl Grant

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Grant in 1967.

Earl Grant (January 20, 1931 – June 10, 1970) was an American pianist, organist, and vocalist popular in the 1950s and 1960s.


Grant was born in Idabel, Oklahoma. Though he would be known later for his keyboards and vocals, Grant also played trumpet and drums. Grant attended four music schools, eventually becoming a music teacher. He augmented his income by performing in clubs during his army service, throughout which he was stationed in Fort Bliss, Texas.[1][2] Grant signed with Decca Records in 1957 and his first single "The End" reached number 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The single "Ebb Tide" sold over one million copies, gaining gold disc status.[1] He recorded five more singles that made the charts, including "Swingin' Gently" (from Beyond the Reef), and six additional albums (mostly on the Decca label) through 1968. He also recorded the album Yes Sirree and the instrumental album Trade Winds, single-tracked on the Hammond organ and piano, featuring the love theme from the film El Cid and Chaplin's "Eternally". This album featured some realistic sounding "tropical bird calls" produced by his electric organ. "House of Bamboo" was another big-selling single. In all, Grant recorded 30 albums for Decca mostly on the Brunswick label a subsidiary of Decca. [2]

Several of his albums featured tenor saxophonist Plas Johnson.[citation needed]

Grant also made a few appearances in film and television, including Tender Is the Night (1962), Juke Box Rhythm (1959), and The Ed Sullivan Show (1961).[3]

Grant sings the title theme for the 1959 film Imitation of Life in a way very close to an imitation of Nat King Cole

He died instantly in a car accident in Lordsburg, New Mexico, at the age of 39[1] when the car he was driving ran off Interstate 10.[2] He was driving from Los Angeles to an intended destination in Juarez, Mexico. His 17-year-old cousin was also killed in the accident.[4]

Select discography[edit]

  • Versatile Earl Grant (Decca Records) 1958
  • The End (Decca Records) 1958
  • Grant Takes Rhythm (Decca Records) 1959
  • Nothin' But the Blues (Decca Records) 1959
  • Paris Is My Beat (Decca Records) 1959
  • The Magic of Earl Grant (Decca Records) 1960
  • Ebb Tide (Decca Records) 1961
  • Earl After Dark (Decca Records) 1961
  • Beyond The Reef (Decca Records) 1962
  • At Basin Street East (Decca Records) live 1962
  • Midnight Sun (Decca Records) 1962
  • Yes Sirree! (Decca Records) 1963
  • Fly Me to The Moon (Decca Records DL 4454) 1963
  • Just for a Thrill (Decca Records) 1964
  • Just One More Time (Decca Records) 1964
  • Trade Winds (Decca Records) 1965
  • Spotlight on Earl Grant (Decca Records) 1965
  • Winter Wonderland (Decca Records) 1965
  • Sings and Plays Songs Made Famous by Nat Cole (Decca Records) 1966
  • Stand by Me (Decca Records) 1966
  • Bali Ha'i (Decca Records) 1966
  • A Closer Walk with Thee (Decca Records) 1966
  • Earl Grant's Greatest Hits (Decca Records DL-74813 Stereo) 1967
  • Gently Swingin' (Decca Records) 1968
  • Spanish Eyes (Decca Records) 1968
  • In Motion (Decca Records) 1968
  • This Magic Moment (Decca Records) 1969

Posthumous releases[edit]

  • Earl Grant (Decca Records) 1970

The songs on this album were recorded days before his death, with arrangements by Bill Holman and Don Peake.

Charted Albums[edit]

Year Title Chart positions
1961 "Ebb Tide" 7
1962 "Earl Grant at Basin Street East" 92
"Beyond the Reef" 17
1964 "Just for a Thrill" 149
"Fly Me to the Moon" 139
1965 "Trade Winds" 192
1968 "Gently Swingin'" 168
1969 "Winter Wonderland" 14

Charted singles[edit]

Year Title Chart positions
1958 "The End" 7 16
1959 "Evening Rain" 63
1960 "House of Bamboo" 88
1962 "Swingin' Gently" 44
"Sweet Sixteen Bars" 55 9
1965 "Stand by Me" 75
1969 "Silver Bells" 3


  1. ^ a b c Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 135. ISBN 0-214-20512-6. 
  2. ^ a b c "Earl Grant Killed in Auto Crash". The News and Courier. 11 June 1970. p. 13A. Retrieved 7 March 2011. 
  3. ^ IMDB.com
  4. ^ "Auto Accident Kills Earl, Grant, Organist-Singer". Meriden, CT Journal. 11 June 1970. p. 10. Retrieved 7 March 2011. 
  • Michel Ruppli, The Decca labels: A discography (Greenwood Press, 1996)

External links[edit]