Cecil Gant April4, 1913- February 4, 1951 was a blues musician born here in Nashville. He had a song named “I Wonder” that reached number 1 on the black music charts. He even has a Wikipedia page.
Today I was contacted by someone who was trying to verify where Cecil is buried. He had some information from a book that Cecil was buried in Ohio, but had not found any associations that Cecil may have had to Ohio. His question to me – could I help him locate information that would help confirm where he was buried?
So, me being the obsessive one, had to start looking around to see if I could help him. Fortunately, the Chicago Defender comes to save the day again! I was able to locate some articles from the 1940s that mentioned that Cecil worked and travelled in Cleveland and even owned a nightclub there. I also found an obituary published in the February 17, 1951 issue of the Chicago Defender:
Interestingly enough, this obit does not mention his brother, Earnest, which I found mentioned in a later article from 1956. But, this, combined with the other articles I found, definitely show an association that Cecil had to Cleveland. The next step, locating where he may be buried. I’ve suggested to the person that contacted me that he try to get his death certificate (freely available on microfilm from the Tennessee State Library & Archives) to see if it is mentioned there. Another possibility would be to track his other family members to see where they may be buried. I’ll save that for tomorrow….
UPDATE: as reflected by Chuck’s comment on this post, he found him! Chuck called Highland Park Cemetery in Cleveland, one of two cemeteries where blacks were usually buried during that time period, and they confirmed for him that Gant was buried there.